On Saturday, March 7th, the West Virginia Legislature adjourned sine die from its 2020 legislative session. The Legislature passed a number of bills to improve self-defense in West Virginia.
Senate Bill 46 removes pepper sprays from the definition of “deadly weapon.” SB 46 passed both chambers unanimously. Governor Jim Justice signed it into law on February 24th.
Senate Bill 96 prevents municipalities from restricting a number of tools that law-abiding citizens carry with them every day. Preemption legislation is designed to stop municipalities from creating a patchwork of different laws that turn a law-abiding citizen into a criminal for simply crossing a jurisdictional line. In addition, it prevents municipalities from restricting carrying at fairs and festivals without a License to Carry Deadly Weapons (LCDW). SB 96 passed the Senate by a vote of 30-2 and the House by a vote of 81-17. Gov. Justice is expected to sign it into law.
House Bill 4955 reduces the current $75 fee for a LCDW to $25 and eliminates the fee for honorably discharged military veterans. West Virginia already allows law-abiding adults to carry a handgun to defend themselves without first having to pay fees or obtain government permission, but that ends at the state line. Many West Virginians still choose to get a LCDW in order to exercise their right to carry in other states that recognize West Virginia’s permit. This fee reduction helps ensure that West Virginians of any financial means are able to defend themselves when traveling. HB 4955 passed both chambers unanimously. Gov. Justice is expected to sign it into law.
Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Click here to follow NRA-ILA on Facebook.