Constitutional Carry Comes to West Virginia
Another win for the Second Amendment.
Last Thursday West Virginia Gov. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin shot down a bill that would “legalize” constitutional carry (how’s that for a paradox?) for which most residents would be eligible. A carry permit would only apply to adults 18-21. In explaining his decision, Tomblin said, “I have been listening, and today I stand with you for the safety of the men, women and children who call our state home. Our law enforcement officers have dedicated their lives to keeping us safe. Now it’s time for us to return the favor and veto HB4145.” However, the state legislature capitalized with its overwhelming support — the bill was approved 61-31 in the House and 24-9 in the Senate — and nullified the veto. On Friday the House blocked the veto 64-33 and the Senate followed suit 23-11 on Saturday.
Once again, Gov. Tomblin cited police officer safety, responding, “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. 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.” But no-license carry is described as constitutional carry for a reason — because the Constitution says absolutely nothing about a government-sanctioned permit to carry a firearm. Probably because they knew criminals will carry firearms regardless of whether or not they have a license. The West Virginia legislature got this one right, and you can thank the 2010 and 2014 Republican wave for the other 19 states contemplating doing away with carry permits.