Senate Bill No. 515
(By Senators Kessler and Barnes)
[Introduced February 9, 2010; referred to the Committee on the
the purchase or attempt to purchase a firearm from a firearm
dealer by certain persons; increasing fines for certain
offenses; prohibiting and punishing a person other than a law-
who knowingly solicits, persuades,
encourages or entices a firearm or ammunition dealer or
private seller to violate firearm sales laws;
definitions; and conforming certain definitions to federal
A BILL to amend and reenact §61-7-2 and §61-7-10 of the Code of
West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §61-7-2 and §61-7-10 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931,
as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 7. DANGEROUS WEAPONS.
As used in this article, unless the context otherwise
(1) "Blackjack" means a short bludgeon consisting, at the
striking end, of an encased piece of lead or some other heavy
substance and, at the handle end, a strap or springy shaft which
increases the force of impact when a person or object is struck.
The term "blackjack" shall include, but not be limited to, a billy,
billy club, sand club, sandbag or slapjack.
(2) "Gravity knife" means any knife that has a blade released
from the handle by the force of gravity or the application of
centrifugal force and when so released is locked in place by means
of a button, spring, lever or other locking or catching device.
(3) "Knife" means an instrument, intended to be used or
readily adaptable to be used as a weapon, consisting of a sharp-
edged or sharp-pointed blade, usually made of steel, attached to a
handle which is capable of inflicting cutting, stabbing or tearing
wounds. The term "knife" shall include, but not be limited to, any
dagger, dirk, poniard or stiletto, with a blade over three and one-
half inches in length, any switchblade knife or gravity knife and
any other instrument capable of inflicting cutting, stabbing or
tearing wounds. A pocket knife with a blade three and one-half
inches or less in length, a hunting or fishing knife carried for hunting, fishing, sports or other recreational uses, or a knife
designed for use as a tool or household implement shall not be
included within the term "knife" as defined herein unless such
knife is knowingly used or intended to be used to produce serious
bodily injury or death.
(4) "Switchblade knife" means any knife having a spring-
operated blade which opens automatically upon pressure being
applied to a button, catch or other releasing device in its handle.
(5) "Nunchuka" means a flailing instrument consisting of two
or more rigid parts, connected by a chain, cable, rope or other
nonrigid, flexible or springy material, constructed in such a
manner as to allow the rigid parts to swing freely so that one
rigid part may be used as a handle and the other rigid part may be
used as the striking end.
(6) "Metallic or false knuckles" means a set of finger rings
attached to a transverse piece to be worn over the front of the
hand for use as a weapon and constructed in such a manner that,
when striking another person with the fist or closed hand,
considerable physical damage may be inflicted upon the person
struck. The terms "metallic or false knuckles" shall include any
such instrument without reference to the metal or other substance
or substances from which the metallic or false knuckles are made.
(7) "Pistol" means a short firearm having a chamber which is integral with the barrel, designed to be aimed and fired by the use
of a single hand.
(8) "Revolver" means a short firearm having a cylinder of
several chambers that are brought successively into line with the
barrel to be discharged, designed to be aimed and fired by the use
of a single hand.
(9) "Deadly weapon" means an instrument which is designed to
be used to produce serious bodily injury or death or is readily
adaptable to such use. The term "deadly weapon"
but is not limited to, the instruments defined in subdivisions (1)
through (8), inclusive, of this section a firearm, blackjack,
nunchuka, metallic or false knuckles, knife or other deadly weapons
of like kind or character which may be easily concealed on or about
the person. For the purposes of section one-a, article five,
chapter eighteen-a and section eleven-a, article seven of this
chapter, in addition to the definition of "knife" set forth in
subdivision (3) of this section, the term "deadly weapon" also
includes any instrument included within the definition of "knife"
with a blade of three and one-half inches or less in length.
Additionally, for the purposes of section one-a, article five,
chapter eighteen-a and section eleven-a, article seven of this
chapter, the term "deadly weapon" includes explosive, chemical,
biological and radiological materials. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the term "deadly weapon" does not
include any item or material owned by the school or county board,
intended for curricular use, and used by the student at the time of
the alleged offense solely for curricular purposes.
(10) "Concealed" means hidden from ordinary observation so as
to prevent disclosure or recognition. A deadly weapon is concealed
when it is carried on or about the person in such a manner that
another person in the ordinary course of events would not be placed
on notice that the deadly weapon was being carried.
(11) "Firearm" means:
(A) Any weapon, including a starter pistol, which will expel
a projectile by action of an explosion;
(B) Except that an antique firearm, as defined in this
section, may not be considered a firearm for purposes of this
(12) "Antique firearm" means:
(A) Any firearm a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap or
similar type of ignition system manufactured in or before 1898; or
(B) Any replica of any firearm described in paragraph (A)
of this subdivision if such replica:
(i) Is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or
conventional fixed ammunition, or
(ii) Uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States and
which is not readily available in the ordinary channels of
commercial trade; or
(C) Any muzzle loading rifle, muzzle loading shotgun or
muzzle loading pistol, which is designed to use black powder or a
black powder substitute, and which cannot use fixed ammunition.
However, an antique firearm may not include any weapon which
incorporates a firearm frame or receiver, any firearm which is
converted into a muzzle loading weapon or any muzzle loading weapon
which can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition by
replacing the barrel, bolt, breechblock or any combination thereof.
(12) (13) "Controlled substance" has the same meaning as is
ascribed to that term in section one hundred one, article one,
chapter sixty-a (d).
(13) (14) "Drug" has the same meaning as is ascribed to that
term in subsection (1) section one, article one hundred one,
(15) "Ammunition" means ammunition or cartridge cases,
primers, bullets or propellant powder designed for use in any
(16) "Crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding
one year" does not include:
(A) Any federal or state offenses pertaining to antitrust violations, unfair trade practices, restraints of trade or other
similar offenses relating to the regulation of business practices;
(B) Any state offense classified by the laws of the state as
a misdemeanor and, punishable by a term of imprisonment of two
years or less.
(17)(A) Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision,
"misdemeanor crime of domestic violence" means an offense that:
(i) Is a misdemeanor under federal or state law; and
(ii) Has, as an element, the use or attempted use of physical
force, or the threatened use of a deadly weapon, committed by a
current or former spouse, parent or guardian of the victim, by a
person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person
who is cohabiting with or has cohabited with the victim as a
spouse, parent, or guardian or by a person similarly situated to a
spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim.
(B) A person is not considered to have been convicted of an
offense for purposes of this article, unless:
(i) The person was represented by counsel in the case, or
knowingly and intelligently waived the right to counsel in the
(ii) In the case of a prosecution for an offense described in
this paragraph for which a person was entitled to a jury trial in the jurisdiction in which the case was tried, either:
(I) The case was tried by a jury, or
(II) The person knowingly and intelligently waived the right
to have the case tried by a jury, by guilty plea or otherwise.
§61-7-10. Display of deadly weapons for sale or hire; sale
toprohibited persons; penalties.
It shall be is unlawful for any A person to may not
publicly display and offer for rent or sale, or, where the person
is other than a natural person, to knowingly permit an employee
thereof to publicly display and offer for rent or sale, to any
passers by on any street, road or alley, any deadly weapon.
machine gun, submachine gun or other fully automatic weapon, any
rifle, shotgun or ammunition for same.
(2) Any person violating the provisions of this subsection
shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof,
shall be fined not more than $5,000 or shall be confined in the
county jail for not more than one year, or both fined and confined,
except that where the person violating the provisions of this
subsection is other than a natural person, such person shall be
fined not more than $10,000.
It shall be unlawful for any A person to may not knowingly
sell, rent, give or lend, or, where the person is other than a
natural person, to knowingly permit an employee thereof to knowingly sell, rent, give or lend, any deadly weapon firearm or
ammunition to a person prohibited from possessing same firearm or
ammunition by any provision of this article by 18 U.S.C. §922(g) or
(n) or other applicable federal law.
(4) Any person
violating the provisions of who violates any of
the provisions of subsection (2)of this subsection shall be section
is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined
not more than twenty-five thousand dollars $100,000, or shall be
imprisoned in the penitentiary of this state in a state
correctional facility for a definite term of years of not less than
three years nor more than ten years, or both fined and imprisoned,
except that where the person violating the provisions of committing
an offense punishable under this subsection is other than a natural
person, such person shall be fined not more than fifty thousand
(5) A person who knowingly solicits, persuades, encourages or
entices a licensed dealer or private seller of firearms or
ammunition to transfer a firearm or ammunition under circumstances
which the person knows would violate the laws of this state or the
United States is guilty of a felony. A person who willfully
procures another to engage in conduct prohibited by this subsection
shall be punished as a principal. This subsection does not apply
to a law-enforcement officer acting in his or her official capacity.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to prohibit and punish
anyone, aside from law-enforcement officers, from knowingly
soliciting, persuading, encouraging or enticing a firearm or
ammunition dealer or private seller to violate firearm laws. This
bill also conforms certain definitions to federal law.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would