WEST virginia legislature
2021 regular session
House Bill 2793
By Delegates Howell, Horst, Hott, Martin, Fast, Kimble, Hamrick, Reed, Maynard, Statler and Storch
[Passed April 7, 2021; in effect ninety days from passage.]
AN ACT to amend and reenact §61-7-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to permitting nonresidents to obtain state licenses to carry a concealed deadly weapon; requiring application to a county sheriff; establishing a $100 fee and providing how that fee is to be used; providing that concealed weapons licenses may only be issued for pistols and revolvers; requiring non-residents to meet the same standards as West Virginia residents for licensure; and providing for the issuance of a new license if the resident or nonresident relocates.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
ARTICLE 7. DANGEROUS WEAPONS.
§61-7-4. License to carry deadly weapons; how obtained.
(a) (1) Except as provided in §61-7-4(q) of this code, a legal resident or citizen of West Virginia desiring to obtain a state resident license to carry a concealed deadly weapon shall apply to the sheriff of his or her county for the license, and pay to the sheriff, at the time of application, a fee of $25. A concealed weapons license may only be issued for pistols and revolvers.
(2) A legal resident or citizen of another state of the United States desiring to obtain a nonresident state license to carry a concealed deadly weapon shall apply to a sheriff of any county in this state for the license, and pay to the sheriff, at the time of application, a fee of $100. A concealed weapons licenses may only be issued for pistols and revolvers.
(b) Each applicant for a state resident license or nonresident license to carry a concealed deadly weapon shall file with the sheriff a complete application, as prepared by the Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police, in writing, duly verified, which sets forth only the following licensing requirements:
(1) The applicant’s full name, date of birth, social security number, a description of the applicant’s physical features, the applicant’s place of birth, the applicant’s country of citizenship, and, if the applicant is not a United States citizen, any alien or admission number issued by the United States Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and any basis, if applicable, for an exception to the prohibitions of 18 U.S.C. §922(g)(5)(B);
(2) That, on the date the application is made, the applicant is a bona fide United States citizen or legal resident thereof and either a resident of this state and of the county in which the application is made or a resident of another state in the United States and has a valid driver’s license or other state-issued or federally issued photo identification showing the residence;
(3) That the applicant is 21 years of age or older;
(4) That the applicant is not addicted to alcohol, a controlled substance, or a drug and is not an unlawful user thereof as evidenced by either of the following within the three years immediately prior to the application:
(A) Residential or court-ordered treatment for alcoholism or alcohol detoxification or drug treatment; or
(B) Two or more convictions for driving while under the influence or driving while impaired;
(5) That the applicant has not been convicted of a felony unless the conviction has been expunged or set aside, or the applicant’s civil rights have been restored or the applicant has been unconditionally pardoned for the offense;
(6) That the applicant has not been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of violence other than an offense set forth in subdivision (7) of this subsection in the five years immediately preceding the application;
(7) That the applicant has not been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence as defined in 18 U.S.C. §921(a)(33), or a misdemeanor offense of assault or battery either under §61-2-28 of this code or §61-2-9(b) or §61-2-9(c) of this code, in which the victim was a current or former spouse, current or former sexual or intimate partner, person with whom the defendant cohabits or has cohabited, a parent or guardian, the defendant’s child or ward or a member of the defendant’s household at the time of the offense, or a misdemeanor offense with similar essential elements in a jurisdiction other than this state;
(8) That the applicant is not under indictment for a felony offense or is not currently serving a sentence of confinement, parole, probation, or other court-ordered supervision imposed by a court of any jurisdiction, is the subject of an emergency or temporary domestic violence protective order, or is the subject of a final domestic violence protective order entered by a court of any jurisdiction;
(9) That the applicant has not been adjudicated to be mentally incompetent or involuntarily committed to a mental institution. If the applicant has been adjudicated mentally incompetent or involuntarily committed, the applicant shall provide a court order reflecting that the applicant is no longer under such disability and the applicant’s right to possess or receive a firearm has been restored;
(10) That the applicant is not prohibited under the provisions of §61-7-7 of this code or federal law, including 18 U.S.C. §922(g) or (n), from receiving, possessing, or transporting a firearm;
(11) That the applicant has qualified under the minimum requirements set forth in subsection (e) of this section for handling and firing the weapon: Provided, That this requirement shall be waived in the case of a renewal applicant who has previously qualified; and
(12) That the applicant authorizes the sheriff of the county, or his or her designee, to conduct an investigation relative to the information contained in the application.
(c) For both initial and renewal applications, the sheriff shall conduct an investigation including a nationwide criminal background check consisting of inquiries of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, the West Virginia criminal history record responses, and the National Interstate Identification Index, and shall review the information received in order to verify that the information required in subsection (b) of this section is true and correct. A license may not be issued unless the issuing sheriff has verified through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System that the information available to him or her does not indicate that receipt or possession of a firearm by the applicant would be in violation of the provisions of §61-7-7 of this code or federal law, including 18 U.S.C. §922(g) or (n).
(d) (1)Twenty-five dollars of the resident license application fee and any fees for replacement of lost or stolen licenses received by the sheriff shall be deposited by the sheriff into a concealed weapons license administration fund. The fund shall be administered by the sheriff and shall take the form of an interest-bearing account with any interest earned to be compounded to the fund. Any funds deposited in this concealed weapon license administration fund are to be expended by the sheriff to pay the costs associated with issuing concealed weapons licenses. Any surplus in the fund on hand at the end of each fiscal year may be expended for other law-enforcement purposes or operating needs of the sheriff’s office, as the sheriff considers appropriate.
(2) Fifteen dollars of the nonresident license application fee shall be deposited in the Courthouse Facilities Improvement Fund created by §29-26-6 of this code; $25 of the application fee shall be deposited into the State Treasury and credited to the account of the State Police for the purchase of vehicles, equipment for vehicles, and maintenance of vehicles; and $60 of the application fee shall be deposited in the concealed weapons license administration fund to be administered as provided in subsection (d) of this section.
(e) All persons applying for a license shall complete a training course in handling and firing a handgun, which includes the actual live firing of ammunition by the applicant. The successful completion of any of the following courses fulfills this training requirement: Provided, That the completed course includes the actual live firing of ammunition by the applicant:
(1) Any official National Rifle Association handgun safety or training course;
(2) Any handgun safety or training course or class available to the general public offered by an official law-enforcement organization, community college, junior college, college, or private or public institution or organization, or handgun training school using instructors certified by the institution;
(3) Any handgun training or safety course or class conducted by a handgun instructor certified as such by the state or by the National Rifle Association;
(4) Any handgun training or safety course or class conducted by any branch of the United States military, reserve, or National Guard, or proof of other handgun qualification received while serving in any branch of the United States military, reserve, or National Guard.
A photocopy of a certificate of completion of any of the courses or classes or an affidavit from the instructor, school, club, organization, or group that conducted or taught the course or class attesting to the successful completion of the course or class by the applicant or a copy of any document which shows successful completion of the course or class is evidence of qualification under this section and shall include the instructor’s name, signature, and NRA or state instructor identification number, if applicable.
(f) All concealed weapons license applications must be notarized by a notary public duly licensed under §39-4-1 et seq. of this code. Falsification of any portion of the application constitutes false swearing and is punishable under §61-5-2 of this code.
(g) The sheriff shall issue a license unless he or she determines that the application is incomplete, that it contains statements that are materially false or incorrect, or that applicant otherwise does not meet the requirements set forth in this section. The sheriff shall issue, reissue, or deny the license within 45 days after the application is filed if all required background checks authorized by this section are completed.
(h) Before any approved license is issued or is effective, the applicant shall pay to the sheriff a fee in the amount of $25 which the sheriff shall forward to the Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police within 30 days of receipt. A license in effect as of the effective date of the amendments to this section enacted during the 2019 regular session of the Legislature shall, subject to revocation for cause, is valid until the licensee’s birthday during the fifth year from the date of issuance or five years from the date of issuance, whichever is later in time. Renewals of such licenses and licenses newly issued after the effective date of the amendments to this section enacted during the 2019 regular session of the Legislature, subject to revocation for cause, are valid for a period of five years from the licensees’ most recent birthday.
(i) Each license shall contain the full name and address of the licensee and a space upon which the signature of the licensee shall be signed with pen and ink. The issuing sheriff shall sign and attach his or her seal to all license cards. The sheriff shall provide to each new licensee a duplicate license card, in size similar to other state identification cards and licenses, suitable for carrying in a wallet, and the license card is considered a license for the purposes of this section. All duplicate license cards issued on or after July 1, 2017, shall be uniform across all 55 counties in size, appearance, and information and shall feature a photograph of the licensee.
(j) The Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police, in cooperation with the West Virginia Sheriffs’ Bureau of Professional Standards, shall prepare uniform applications for both resident and nonresident licenses and license cards showing that the license has been granted and shall do any other act required to be done to protect the state and see to the enforcement of this section.
(k) If an application is denied, the specific reasons for the denial shall be stated by the sheriff denying the application. Any person denied a license may file, in the circuit court of the county in which the application was made, a petition seeking review of the denial. The petition shall be filed within 30 days of the denial. The court shall then determine whether the applicant is entitled to the issuance of a license under the criteria set forth in this section. The applicant may be represented by counsel, but in no case is the court required to appoint counsel for an applicant. The final order of the court shall include the court’s findings of fact and conclusions of law. If the final order upholds the denial, the applicant may file an appeal in accordance with the Rules of Appellate Procedure of the Supreme Court of Appeals. If the findings of fact and conclusions of law of the court fail to uphold the denial, the applicant may be entitled to reasonable costs and attorney’s fees, payable by the sheriff’s office which issued the denial.
(l) If a license is lost or destroyed, the person to whom the license was issued may obtain a duplicate or substitute license for a fee of $5 by filing a notarized statement with the sheriff indicating that the license has been lost or destroyed.
(m) Whenever an applicant or licensee relocates from the address provided in his or her application to another address, he or she shall comply with the following notification requirements:
(1) Within 20 days of a resident licensee relocating from the address provided in his or her application to another county in the state, he or she shall provide written notification of the relocation to the sheriff of the county to which he or she moved and provide his or her new address. The sheriff shall then issue a new resident license bearing the licensee’s new address and the original expiration date, for a fee not to exceed $5. The license remains valid for the remainder of the original five year term, unless the sheriff has determined that the person is no longer eligible for a concealed weapon license under the provisions of this article.
(2) Within 20 days of a resident licensee relocating from the address provided in his or her application to an address outside the state, he or she shall provide written notification to the sheriff of the issuing county of the relocation and provide his or her new address. The sheriff shall then issue a new nonresident license bearing the licensee’s new address and the original expiration date, for a fee not to exceed $5. The license remains valid for the remainder of the original five-year term unless the sheriff has determined that the person is no longer eligible for a concealed weapon license under the provisions of this article: Provided, That any renewal of the license in the new jurisdiction after expiration requires the payment of a nonresident license fee.
(3) Within 20 days of a nonresident licensee relocating from the address provided in his or her application to another address outside of the state, he or she shall provide written notification of the relocation to the sheriff of the issuing county and provide his or her new address. The sheriff shall then issue a new nonresident license bearing the licensee’s new address and original expiration date, for a fee not to exceed $5. This license remains valid for the remainder of the original five-year term, unless the sheriff has determined that the person is no longer eligible for a concealed weapon license under the provisions of this article.
(4) Within 20 days of a nonresident licensee relocating to West Virginia from the address provided in his or her application, he or she shall provide written notification of the relocation to the sheriff of the county to which he or she has moved and provide his or her new address. The sheriff shall then issue a new resident license bearing the licensee’s new address and the original expiration date, for a fee not to exceed $5. This license remains valid for the remainder of the original five-year term, unless the sheriff has determined that the person is no longer eligible for a concealed weapon license under the provisions of this article.
(n) The sheriff shall, immediately after the license is granted under this section furnish the Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police a certified copy of the approved application. The sheriff shall furnish to the Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police at any time so requested a certified list of all licenses issued in the county. The Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police shall maintain a registry of all persons who have been issued concealed weapons licenses.
(o) The sheriff shall deny any application or revoke any existing license upon determination that any of the licensing application requirements established in this section have been violated by the licensee.
(p) A person who is engaged in the receipt, review, or in the issuance or revocation of a concealed weapon license does not incur any civil liability as the result of the lawful performance of his or her duties under this article.
(q) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, with respect to application for a resident license by an honorably discharged veteran of the armed forces of the United States, or a former law-enforcement officer honorably retired from agencies governed by §7-14-1 et seq. of this code, §8-14-1 et seq. of this code, §15-2-1 et seq. of this code, and §20-7-1 et seq. of this code, an honorably retired officer or an honorably discharged veteran of the armed forces of the United States is exempt from payment of fees and costs as otherwise required by this section. All other application and background check requirements set forth in this section are applicable to these applicants.
(r) Information collected under this section, including applications, supporting documents, permits, renewals, or any other information that would identify an applicant for, or holder of, a concealed weapon license, is confidential: Provided, That this information may be disclosed to a law-enforcement agency or officer: (i) To determine the validity of a license; (ii) to assist in a criminal investigation or prosecution; or (iii) for other lawful law-enforcement purposes. A person who violates this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not less than $50 or more than $200 for each offense.
(s) A person who pays fees for training or application pursuant to this article after the effective date of this section is entitled to a tax credit equal to the amount actually paid for training not to exceed $50: Provided, That if such training was provided for free or for less than $50, then such tax credit may be applied to the fees associated with the initial application.
(t) Except as restricted or prohibited by the provisions of this article or as otherwise prohibited by law, the issuance of a concealed weapon license issued in accordance with the provisions of this section authorizes the holder of the license to carry a concealed pistol or revolver on the lands or waters of this state.
The Joint Committee on Enrolled Bills hereby certifies that the foregoing bill is correctly enrolled.
Chairman, House Committee
Chairman, Senate Committee
Originating in the House.
In effect ninety days from passage.
Clerk of the House of Delegates
Clerk of the Senate
Speaker of the House of Delegates
President of the Senate
The within ................................................... this the...........................................
day of ..........................................................................................................., 2021.