Saturday, March 21, 2015

West Virginia Governor, Earl Ray Tomblin Bucks Legislature, Vetoes Permit-Less Concealed Carry Bill

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin delivers his annual State of the State speech on Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015, in Charleston, W.Va. (AP Photo/Tyler Evert) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

Huffington Post

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) vetoed a bill Friday that would have eliminated the permit requirement for concealed carry, citing the concerns of law enforcement officers. 

The bill was passed out of the Republican-controlled state legislature, and would have ended a state law requiring anyone over the age of 21 to have a permit and undergo safety training to legally carry a gun that's not visible. Gun rights supporters say the requirements are costly, time-restrictive and infringe on Second Amendment rights

"Throughout my career, I have strongly supported the Second Amendment, as demonstrated by my repeated endorsements and high grades from the National Rifle Association," Tomblin wrote in a statement. "However, I must also be responsive to the apprehension of law enforcement officers from across the state, who have concerns about the bill as it relates to the safety of their fellow officers. It also would eliminate the required gun safety training courses for those applying for a concealed carry permit. In light of these concerns and in the interest of public safety for all West Virginians, I have vetoed Senate Bill 347."


  1. "After years of operating in state legislatures unchecked, the NRA's agenda of putting gun lobby interests above the safety of our communities is now being defeated in state after state, and today, here in West Virginia," said Dee Price, a volunteer with the West Virginia chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. "It's just common sense that if a person wants to carry a loaded, hidden handgun in public, they need to demonstrate they have a clean recent violent criminal record and have been trained to handle and carry a gun safely."

    So we are to believe that the MOMs are now cool with open carry, which is quite legal in the state. Perhaps the timing will work out better next time. The bill passed with more than enough votes to override a veto, but the session had already adjourned. There's always next year.


  2. So one out of what looks to be eight states failed to pass open carry legislation. Texas I believe has sent a bill to the Governor for a promised signature that removes the requirement to conceal for permit holders. It will be interesting to see how many states pass these laws this year.

    "Lawmakers in Nevada and Missouri are joining the push to bring lawful concealed handgun carry without a permit to their states.
    The measures, seen in the Nevada Senate and Missouri House respectively, are in the early stages of the legislative process but should they succeed, could allow each state to become the six and seventh to adopt constitutional carry."
    "Constitutional carry bills have been a popular item nationwide with state legislatures this session. Texas, New Hampshire, Utah and Kansas have all made progress on measures of their own in recent weeks.
    Last week West Virginia and Montana lawmakers gave their final seal of approval to a measure to bring the practice to those states, sending them to the desks of Democratic governors despite opposition."

  3. It appears that Kansas will potentially be the next Constititutional carry state. It has been sent to the Governor for his signature and there appears to be the votes to override a veto.

    "The measure was headed to Republican Gov. Sam Brownback despite some lawmakers’ misgivings about the state dropping its requirement that anyone seeking to carry a concealed firearm undergo at least eight hours of training. Brownback’s office didn’t say what his plans are, but he’s signed every other major gun-rights measure sent to him since taking office in January 2011."

    "The House approved the bill Wednesday on an 85-39 vote. The Senate passed it last month, but a House committee made a technical change that senators had to review. The Senate signed off, 31-8, about two hours after the House’s vote."

    Keep in mind that Kansas already allows open carry without a permit. So all this would do is allow citizens to carry concealed and therefor not offend the sensibilities of the MOMs.

    1. Great news! And in WV, Governor James Earl Ray . . . oops--I mean Earl Ray Tomblin can presumably count on seeing this bill again next year--and earlier in the legislative session, this time.

    2. And that appears to be the case,

      "Lawmakers in West Virginia are gearing up for another attempt at making it legal to carry concealed weapons in the state without a permit, and their chances of success are high."

      "Many pro-gun Democrats also joined Republicans in approving the bill this year by a 71-29 margin in the House of Delegates and 30-4 in the Senate. It only takes more "yes" than "no" votes to override a veto in West Virginia, but lawmakers ran out of time to take it back up in this year's session."