Senate Judiciary Committee Passage of House Bill 4145 Flies in the Face of New Polling Showing that 84 Percent of Likely Voters in West Virginia Favor Requiring Permits to Carry Concealed Handguns in Public
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – With dangerous legislation that would dismantle West Virginia’s concealed carry permit system passing the Senate Judiciary Committee today, the West Virginia chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statement criticizing the legislation.
House Bill 4145 and similar Senate legislation, SB 314, run contrary to new polling showing that 84 percent of likely voters in West Virginia – including 87 percent of gun owners – favor requiring safety training and a permit to carry a concealed handgun in public in West Virginia. Last year, the West Virginia legislature passed similar legislation and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed it.
STATEMENT FROM DEE PRICE, VOLUNTEER WITH THE WEST VIRGINIA CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“It is disheartening that the state Senate, under the leadership of Senate President Bill Cole, is moving forward with legislation that 84 percent of West Virginians and law enforcement officials oppose – a wholesale dismantling of our state’s permitting standards. Anyone who wants to carry hidden, loaded firearms in public should pass a background check, know how to safely handle a gun and get a permit. That’s a common-sense step for public safety. I urge our state Senators – especially President Bill Cole – to reject HB 4145 and SB 314 because they are a danger to West Virginia families.”
The new poll, conducted for Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund by Survey USA, also found that:
- 89 percent of Democrats and 79 percent of Republicans favor requiring permits to carry a concealed handgun in public in West Virginia
- 84 percent of concealed carry permit holders favor requiring permits to carry a concealed handgun in public in West Virginia
- 87 percent of gun owners favor requiring permits to carry a concealed handgun in public in West Virginia
HB 4145 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 convicted of misdemeanor crimes of violence,
- Anyone with multiple convictions for driving under the influence, and
- Anyone who has not completed a handgun safety course.
HB 4145 would dismantle the current permitting system by allowing many of these individuals to carry a concealed handgun without any training or permitting. If HB 4145 becomes law, West Virginia would join only a handful of states in abandoning core public safety standards by allowing people to carry hidden, loaded guns in public with no permit. HB 4145 is also strongly opposed by law enforcement from across the state.