CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today applauded Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s decision to veto dangerous legislation that would allow people with no background check or safety training carry concealed, loaded weapons in public – and urged legislators to allow the governor’s veto of House Bill 4145 to stand rather than launch an effort to override it.
Also this week, the Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund launched radio, print and digital advertising against this dangerous legislation. The ads (available here and here) highlight the dangers of eliminating this important public safety requirement and allowing people with no background check or safety training to carry hidden, loaded guns in public.
Law enforcement officials oppose HB 4145 and recent polling shows 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 Tomblin vetoed it.
STATEMENT FROM DIANE PENDLETON, VOLUNTEER WITH THE WEST VIRGINIA CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“Eighty-four percent of West Virginians oppose allowing people to carry hidden, loaded firearms in public without a background check, safety training or a permit – and we are so grateful for Governor Tomblin’s veto of this dangerous legislation. It is time for the West Virginia legislature to stop playing games with our safety – and to say no to HB 4145 once and for all. I urge our elected officials to listen to their constituents rather than the gun lobby and to allow the governor’s veto to stand rather than embarking on a divisive veto override fight.”
Recent polling, conducted for Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund by Survey USA, 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 Virginiaz
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 and would allow many of these individuals to carry a concealed handgun without passing a background check and getting a permit. 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.