State Senate Passes Gun Control Bill
Written by Rachel McDevitt
Last updated on February 26, 2014 @ 6:15PM
Created on February 26, 2014 @ 4:23PM
Our state Senate has unanimously passed a bill that would limit what cities can do to regulate guns. Now the House of Delegates needs to decide if they want to approve these limits.
The bill would make it so that city gun laws in West Virginia can't be more strict than a state or federal law; to avoid there being a "patchwork" of different gun laws across the state, and make it more uniform. This would be an issue for Charleston, where the guns laws are much tighter than those at the state level. Currently, Charleston residents can only buy one gun each month with a three day waiting period before the final sale.
This bill would wipe out the home rule process that started last year. That legislation was designed to give more power to local law enforcement.
In contrast to the first part of the bill, this would also let cities decide if weapons can be carried on government property within that city. This has raised a lot of concern, especially for local law enforcement.
"For safety reasons, there has to be places where you'll not be able to carry a weapon," said Marion Sheriff Joe Carpenter. "Areas like the courthouse. We have people in there who may have committed a crime against somebody, so we don't want a family member bringing a weapon in, of course."
Some people in this area said they think it's a better idea for cities to control what happens in their cities because they know their own needs and crime rates the best, but others think all cities should follow a federal law.
Marion resident Christopher Redelman said, "I believe it should be left up to the federal government, truthfully, because not all cities really understand the federal gun laws."
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