S.B. 347, Voted out of the Legislature Today, Would Effectively Dismantle the State’s Concealed Carry Permitting System, Changing West Virginia Law to Allow Dangerous People to Carry Guns in Public
83 Percent of Likely Voters in West Virginia Favor Requiring Permits for Concealed Carry of Handguns in Public
Following its vote out of the legislature today, the West Virginia chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, is strongly urging Governor Tomblin to stand up to gun lobby interests and veto S.B. 347, a bill that would effectively dismantle West Virginia’s concealed carry permitting system. If S.B. 347 becomes law, West Virginia would join only four other states to abandon these core public safety standards by allowing people to carry concealed, loaded guns in public with no permit and no training required.
“It’s just common sense that if a person wants to carry a loaded, concealed handgun in public they need to demonstrate they have a clean criminal record and have been trained to carry a gun safely. If this bill becomes law, people in our state who have never learned to shoot,handle, or even load a gun would be able to carry concealed, loaded handguns in public without a permit—that’s a very clear risk to public safety, which is why I stand with the 83 percent of West Virginians who think it’s important for people to have training and a permit before carrying a concealed handgun in public,” said Dee Price, a volunteer with the West Virginia chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “Governor Tomblin must stand up to gun lobby interests, stand with West Virginia law enforcement and voters, and veto this dangerous bill.”
Last week, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and the West Virginia chapter of Moms Demand Action released a new bipartisan poll, available here, that finds 83 percent of likely voters in West Virginia – including 81 percent of gun owners – favor requiring permits to carry a concealed handgun in public in West Virginia. The poll also revealed that 50 percent of West Virginia voters are less likely to vote for a candidate who supported a repeal of permitting requirements like SB 347.
SB 347, if signed into low, would lower the bar for who can carry a hidden, loaded gun in West Virginia. Currently, several categories of people are prohibited from carrying in public under the state’s concealed carry permitting system, including:
- Anyone who has never been trained in handling and firing a gun;
- Anyone convicted of misdemeanor crimes of violence within the past five years; and
- Anyone with multiple convictions for driving under the influence in the last 3 years.
SB 347 would dismantle the current permitting and allow these individuals to carry a concealed handgun in public.
In addition to releasing the poll, in efforts to raise awareness about this dangerous bill, mail pieces targeting both parties hit mailboxes this week along with a days long digital ad buy in the Charleston area that focus on the widespread opposition in West Virginia to SB 347.
About Everytown for Gun Safety
Everytown is the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country with more than 2.5 million supporters and more than 40,000 donors including moms, mayors, survivors, and everyday Americans who are fighting for public safety measures that respect the Second Amendment and help save lives. At the core of Everytown are Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a grassroots movement of American mothers founded the day after the Sandy Hook tragedy. Learn more at www.everytown.org and follow us @Everytown
About Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is a grassroots movement of American mothers fighting for public safety measures that respect the Second Amendment and protect people from gun violence. Moms Demand Action campaigns for new and stronger solutions to lax gun laws and loopholes that jeopardize the safety of our children and families. Since its inception after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Moms Demand Action has established a chapter in every state of the country and along with Mayors Against Illegal Guns is part of Everytown for Gun Safety, the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country with more than 2.5 million members and more than 40,000 donors. For more information or to get involved visit www.momsdemandaction.org. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MomsDemandAction or on Twitter at @MomsDemand