Vote on House Bill 4145 Comes Just Days after Release of New Poll Showing that 84 Percent of Likely Voters in West Virginia Favor Requiring Permits to Carry Concealed Handguns in Public
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – With the House voting 68 to 31 today to pass dangerous legislation that would dismantle West Virginia’s concealed carry permit system, 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 a new poll 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 DIANE PENDLETON, VOLUNTEER WITH THE WEST VIRGINIA CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“Today’s vote is completely out of step with the 84 percent of West Virginians who oppose tearing down our state’s permitting standards. It’s common sense to require people who want to carry hidden, loaded firearms in public to pass a background check, know how to safety handle a gun and get a permit. Lawmakers of all parties should oppose HB 4145 and SB 314 for the safety of 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 dismantle the current permitting system by allowing some 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.