Introduced Version House Bill 2479 History

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H. B. 2479

(By Delegates Frich, Tansill, Canterbury, Stevens,

Trump, Stemple and Howard)

[Introduced February 17, 2005; referred to the

Committee on the Judiciary.]

A BILL to amend and reenact §61-7-6 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend said code by adding thereto a new section, designated §61-7-6a, all relating to dangerous weapons; deleting the current exception to the prohibition against carrying deadly weapons for certain out-of-state residents licensed in other states that have reciprocity agreements with this state; modifying the method of establishing reciprocity between states relative to handgun permits; and, imposing certain duties on the Office of the Attorney General designed to insure compliance with the proposed legal requirements.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That §61-7-6 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that said code be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated 61-7-6a, all to read as follows:


§61-7-6. Exceptions as to prohibitions against carrying concealed deadly weapons.

The licensure provisions set forth in this article do not apply to:
(1) Any person carrying a deadly weapon upon his or her own premises; nor shall anything herein prevent a person from carrying any firearm, unloaded, from the place of purchase to his or her home, residence or place of business or to a place of repair and back to his or her home, residence or place of business, nor shall anything herein prohibit a person from possessing a firearm while hunting in a lawful manner or while traveling from his or her home, residence or place of business to a hunting site and returning to his or her home, residence or place of business;
(2) Any person who is a member of a properly organized target-shooting club authorized by law to obtain firearms by purchase or requisition from this state or from the United States for the purpose of target practice from carrying any pistol, as defined in this article, unloaded, from his or her home, residence or place of business to a place of target practice and from any place of target practice back to his or her home, residence or place of business, for using any such weapon at a place of target practice in training and improving his or her skill in the use of the weapons;
(3) Any law-enforcement officer or law-enforcement official as defined in section one, article twenty-nine, chapter thirty of this code;
(4) Any employee of the West Virginia Division of Corrections duly appointed pursuant to the provisions of section five, article five, chapter twenty-eight of this code while the employee is on duty;
(5) Any member of the Armed Forces of the United States or the militia of this state while the member is on duty;
(6) Any circuit judge, including any retired circuit judge designated senior status by the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, Prosecuting Attorney, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney or a duly appointed investigator employed by a Prosecuting Attorney;
(7) Any resident of another state who has been issued a license to carry a concealed weapon by a state or a political subdivision which has entered into a reciprocity agreement with this state. The governor may execute reciprocity agreements on behalf of the state of West Virginia with states or political subdivisions which have similar gun permitting laws and which recognize and honor West Virginia licenses issued pursuant to section four of this article;
(8) (7) Any federal law-enforcement officer or federal police officer authorized to carry a weapon in the performance of the officer's duty; and
(9) (8) Any Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreation Authority ranger while the ranger is on duty.
§61-7-6a. Reciprocity; out-of-state concealed handgun permits.

(a) A valid concealed handgun permit or license issued by another state is valid in West Virginia if that state grants the same right to residents of West Virginia who have valid concealed handgun permits issued pursuant to this article in their possession while carrying concealed weapons in that state.
(b) The Attorney General shall maintain a registry of states that meet the requirements of this section on the West Virginia criminal information network and make the registry available to law-enforcement officers for investigative purposes.
(c) Every twelve months after the effective date of this section, the Attorney General shall make written inquiry of the concealed handgun permitting authorities in each other state as to: (i) Whether a West Virginia resident may carry a concealed handgun in their state based upon having a valid West Virginia concealed handgun permit; and (ii) whether a West Virginia resident may apply for a concealed handgun in that state based upon having a valid West Virginia concealed handgun permit. The Attorney General shall attempt to secure from each state permission for West Virginia residents who hold a valid West Virginia concealed handgun permit to carry a concealed handgun in that state, either on the basis of the West Virginia permit or on the basis that the West Virginia permit is sufficient to permit issuance of a similar license or permit by the other state.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to modify current law regarding exceptions to the prohibition against persons carrying concealed weapons. Particularly, the bill is modified to specify that persons from other states who were otherwise permitted to carry concealed handguns due to the existence of reciprocity agreements between their home state and this state can only do so if their state grants the same rights to residents of this state. Additionally, the bill requires the Attorney General, in addition to other specified duties, to maintain a registry of states that meet acceptability requirements for the purposes of the proposed enactment.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

§61-7-6a is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.
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