CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A group of several Republican delegates today are vowing to stand firm to protect West Virginians’ Second Amendment rights.
The pledge comes in response to yesterday’s announcement by two Democrat delegates, who announced they intend to introduce gun control legislation in the state Legislature.
Delegates Tom Bibby, R-Berkeley; Jim Butler, R-Mason; Scott Cadle, R-Mason; Roy Cooper, R-Summers; Mark Dean, R-Mingo; Tom Fast, R-Fayette; John Paul Hott, R-Grant; Gary Howell, R-Mineral; Eric Householder, R-Berkeley;Dean Jeffries, R-Kanawha; Joe Jeffries, R-Putnam; John Kelly, R-Wood; Kayla Kessinger, R-Fayette; Larry Kump, R-Berkeley; Sharon Malcolm, R-Kanawha; John Mandt, R-Cabell; Carl “Robbie” Martin, R-Upshur; Patrick Martin, R-Lewis; Zack Maynard, R-Lincoln; Pat McGeehan, R-Hancock; Chris Phillips, R-Barbour; Eric Porterfield, R-Mercer; Brandon Steele, R-Raleigh; Terry Waxman, R-Harrison; Marshall Wilson, R-Berkeley; and Evan Worrell, R-Cabell, and Majority Leader Amy Summers, R-Taylor, today issued the following joint statement: , today issued the following joint statement:
“The recognition and protection of the most basic natural right – the right of self-defense – is enshrined in the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution and in Article III, Section 22 of the Constitution of West Virginia,” the delegates said.
“We will not abandon these guarantees of individual liberty in the pursuit of hollow ‘solutions’ that will not solve the current issue, much less guarantee freedom to the generations that will follow us.
“Having sworn an oath to support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this State, we will abide by that oath in spite of short-sighted and temporary political pressures.
“Legislators calling for ‘red flag’ laws are preying upon the fear generated by the actions of madmen that would carry out their acts regardless of any laws this State would enact. What is clear to us is the breakdown of the family will not be overcome by well-intentioned but misplaced legislation that does nothing to solve the core issues that lead to these tragedies.
“The call for ‘red flag’ laws denies the real problem and attacks honest, law-abiding citizens. West Virginia has a large veteran population that cannot be discouraged from seeking help by laws that would disproportionately strip them of the rights they have sacrificed so much to defend. We stand firm in our convictions to defend our constitutional rights and uphold the freedoms of all the people of West Virginia.
“While we will join in thoughtful consideration of any serious proposals to combat the evil acts plaguing our nation, we will remember Benjamin Franklin’s solemn warning that ‘Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.’”