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West Virginia Overrides Governor’s Veto, Allows Permitless Concealed Carry

West Virginia Overrides Governor’s Veto, Allows Permitless Concealed Carry

“We’re giving the people the ability to protect themselves without paying a fee”

As Obama, Bloomberg, and assorted progressives continue in their gun-grabbing push, red states and those states with Republican legislative majorities have been pushing back, legalizing guns on campus, expanding carry laws, and now, in West Virginia, allowing permitless concealed carry.

The bill, HB 4145, allows anyone over the age of 21 to carry a concealed handgun without a permit and was vetoed last Thursday by Democrat Governor Tomlin in a theatrical ceremony.

In a bipartisan vote in first the State House and then in the State Senate, the governor’s veto was overridden.

The Charleston Gazette reports:

It will soon be legal for adults in West Virginia to carry hidden handguns with no training and without a permit, after the Legislature acted swiftly, and against the wishes of law enforcement, to override Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s veto of the legislation.

Tomblin held a rare veto-signing ceremony Thursday, surrounded by dozens of police officers, to try to convince legislators to let the veto stand.

“I urge you to look around this room for a moment and see that law enforcement are concerned about this bill,” Tomblin said Thursday.

They didn’t listen.

The House voted 64-33 to override the veto on Friday.

And on Saturday, the Senate voted 23-11 to override.

The vote to override was bipartisan in both houses.

The primary bone of contention is the “permitless” part and the lack of weapons training that suggests.

The Charleston Gazette continues:

“While we completely respect the law enforcement community, we also will always come down on the side of the Constitution and ensuring that our rights are protected,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, said Friday. “They want the permit process and the training associated with that, which I completely respect and admire their position, but the constitutional authority to carry a weapon is inherent in our Second Amendment.”

Carmichael acknowledged that he knew of no court that had ever ruled the concealed weapons permit process to be unconstitutional. He also said he did not think the current permitting process was unconstitutional.

Tomblin issued a statement immediately after the override, condemning the Legislature’s actions.

“West Virginia’s law enforcement officers have dedicated their lives to keeping us safe and helping us in times of need, and it’s disheartening that the members of the Legislature have chosen not to stand with these brave men and women – putting their safety and the safety of West Virginians at risk,” Tomblin said. “It’s unfortunate that the concerns of officers from every law enforcement branch in the state, including the West Virginia State Police and university campus police officers, have been ignored by today’s action.”

Sen. Corey Palumbo, D-Kanawha, noted that public opinion polling was overwhelmingly against allowing permitless concealed weapons.

In a nod to the opposition regarding the lack of training, the bill, now law, contains a tax credit for West Virginians who obtain proper weapons’ training.

The bill provides a $50 tax credit for anyone who chooses to get the training necessary for a permit.

Tomblin criticized the tax credit in his veto message, calling it “ill advised” at a time when the state is facing a budget crisis.

The bill also increases criminal penalties for using a weapon while committing a crime and for felons who illegally carry a gun.

Senate President Bill Cole, R-Mercer, released a statement praising the increased penalties and the tax credit.

“This bill allows West Virginians to protect themselves without the government’s permission,” Cole said. “I am proud of this version, and I am pleased that today we were able to stand up for the constitutional rights our citizens hold so dear.”

Cole is not the only West Virginia lawmaker who views the new law as a Second Amendment victory.

Sen. Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, said allowing permitless concealed guns would act as a deterrent to crime.

“We’re giving the people the ability to protect themselves without paying a fee,” Blair said. “I can hear freedom knocking on the doors in West Virginia and that’s exactly what this does.”


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legacyrepublican | March 9, 2016 at 5:26 pm

One thing is for sure, people won’t be looking first to see if someone from WV is wearing shoes anymore.

The only problem might be in traveling to other States, if they have their own permit systems which might have had reciprocity.

    Arizona and Alaska solved that one pretty easily: they left their permitting system in place for those who wish to have one. It’s now optional for carrying in-state, but still carries the reciprocity for carrying out-of-state.

    I’m sure WV could do that, too.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Chem_Geek. | March 9, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    The bill did not get rid of the permit system in WV, you can still get a permit, you are just not required to get a permit to carry concealed in the state.

“…putting their safety and the safety of West Virginians at risk.”

The criminals are already armed.

Now the law abiding citizens can protect themselves from the armed criminals.

How does that threaten the safety of anyone but the criminals?

    alaskabob in reply to TX-rifraph. | March 9, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    For the left, weakness and helplessness in the pursuit of victimhood are a higher calling. For them being a victim is far better than being a victor. They forget that rendering oneself powerless to hurt also means powerless to help.

Humphrey's Executor | March 9, 2016 at 6:54 pm

The left is going to be so disappointed when wanton violence does not break out.

Since I spent my first 40 years of my life in the great state of West Virginia , I can say that we fooled them ,we’ve been doing it all along.

Finally a state that gets it.

stevewhitemd | March 9, 2016 at 10:53 pm

What’s needed now is a federal reciprocity system so that states are required to honor a concealed carry permit in the same way they honor driving licenses from other states. Since the 14th Amendment incorporates the 2nd on the states, federal legislation to enforce civil rights (and owning/carrying is a civil right) seems appropriate.

Have the Pubs in Congress put that through and dare Obama to veto it.

    buckeyeminuteman in reply to stevewhitemd. | March 10, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    Since marriage licenses of any kind now has reciprocity in every state, my CCW license ought to as well. And my hunting and fishing license. My wife’s veterinary medical license, my dad’s teaching license and my mom’s nursing license.

inspectorudy | March 9, 2016 at 11:06 pm

One of the myths of the old West was the one on one gun fights in the streets. That was an extremely rare occurrence. What did happen was that wearing a gun belt made people a little more respectful of not opening their big mouths and expressing their opinion of armed strangers. I am a firm believer in “An armed society is a polite society”. I do think there needs to be an honest mistake clause written into any open carry law that makes the carry person responsible for any damage/death/injury caused by their use or misuse of their gun. Hopefully this would help those people who don’t stop and think very often, to stop and consider what they could face if they don’t learn how to operate and carry a weapon properly. I have been to enough gun shows that I can tell you there are some real dumb gun owners out there. For any of you who are not real mechanical or familiar with guns buy a revolver if you need one. Do not fall for the exotic look of the black semi autos. I have lots of both and the gun I have near me at night or on a trip is a S&W .357 magnum revolver. I never have to think about the magazine, safety or chamber. There is nothing to forget or think about. If you need it 24/7, pull the trigger. As for knowing whether or not it is loaded just look at the cylinder and you will see the noses of the bullets. I pray that I never need it!

    Clinger in reply to inspectorudy. | March 10, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Totally agree!

    If someone is considering a conceal weapon, I always advise a person to carry a revolver for the same reason. Revolvers are far more forgiving of debris that collects in a carry gun.

    A recommended revolver for conceal is the Ruger LCR.

    Small, light, and a proper hollow point .38+P will definitely ruin a bad guy’s day…

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Clinger. | March 10, 2016 at 7:12 pm

      Only if you don’t take care of your firearms. I have never had a problem with “debris” in any of my automatics. I recommend revolvers for people who have minimal training in care of firearms.

Rick the Curmudgeon | March 9, 2016 at 11:25 pm

Hey West Virginia, could Tennessee borrow your legislature for a while? We promise not to keep them long or teach them bad habits.

(FYI, Tennessee constitutional carry died (AGAIN!) in a Senate committee thanks to ONE abstaining RINO.)

The head of one Senate committee killed both open carry and campus carry in Florida.

Paul In Sweden | March 10, 2016 at 5:15 am

In Vermont all you need is a clean record and to fill out a quick check application to purchase a firearm. I suggest that other states begin paying citizens to fill out permit applications so that they can catch up with freedom and democracy.

Montani sempre liberi!

Way to go Mountaineers

Illinois: To apply for CC you are told that the extensive background check process may take up to 120 days and may require your fingerprints. The upfront cost is $150.00 and then paid every five years.

Meanwhile, Chicago, the “Welcoming City” “protects” illegals from being held “unfairly” for immigration authorities after they come in contact with city police, unless they have been convicted of a serious crime or are a wanted criminal for whom an arrest warrant has already been issued.

So, only after a crime is committed does the vetting of the illegal begin. But, as shown above, this is not true for legal citizens of Americans who want to exercise their second amendment right to carry.

Illinois background checks of legal citizens do nothing to stop the violence in Illinois. Nothing.

Jul 10, 2012, Mayor Emanuel Introduces Welcoming City Ordinance and the same year the FBI names Chicago the “murder capital.”

2016: And then there is this jewel of an Illinois city, East St. Louis.

Crime rates for East St. Louis, IL – your chances of becoming a victim in East St. Louis are 1 in 28.

While good people are being made to jump through hoops to mollify the Democrat Plantation Owners, these same Democrats, by their legislation, create and enable a setting for violent crime.

Thank God when I was in West Virginia, we were sensible when mixing guns and alcohol . We limited ourselves to no more than two guns an hour

The DemocRATs are looking out for their main supporters — the criminal. Having gun-control is job protection. They don’t get shot by an angry victim.

Before anyone gets overly excited by this, let’s put it into perspective.

WV has allowed general OC, w/o a license for a very long time. So, the general public was already able to carry a firearm w/o training or a license. This bill was just a common sense measure which extended that practice to the carry of concealed firearms. Realistically, if any adult can openly carry a firearm without training or a license, then there is no reason not to allow those same adults to carry concealed. This was by no means Earth shaking legislation.

A natural right exists until revoked by the state church or cult, court, legislature, executive, etc. or socially (e.g. democratically) moderated for improper use.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to n.n. | March 10, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    No a “natural right” exists regardless of outside intervention to suppress that right. Just because it is being wrongfully suppressed doesn’t mean that they right goes away.