Gun bill passes house and senate but triggers fears from communi - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Gun bill passes house and senate but triggers fears from community leaders

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Senate Bill 317 passed both the house and senate Saturday night and will now go to the governor for action Senate Bill 317 passed both the house and senate Saturday night and will now go to the governor for action
CHARLESTON, WV -

Whenever you talk about guns, it's easy to get people fired up and that's exactly what a bill just approved by the legislature is doing.

If you ask one side about Senate Bill 317, commonly referred to as the municipal gun bill, people will say the state is putting citizens in danger by allowing more guns in public places. However, if you ask the other side, people will say it eliminates the confusion and protects second amendment rights.

Senate Bill 317 passed both the house and senate Saturday night and will now go to the governor for action. It's goal is to create uniform gun laws throughout the Mountain State and weaken city gun ordinances.

"This is a victory we have been fighting for, for the past 21 years," said Keith Morgan, president of the West Virginia Citizens Defense League.

If the bill is signed into law by the governor, the measure will eliminate gun laws that towns like Charleston have enacted under Home Rule. This means the city's 72 hour waiting period and limits on handgun purchases will be clipped.

"What's legal in Charleston may not be legal in Parkersburg, may not be legal in Wheeling. We want gun owners to be able to memorize one set of laws and be fine throughout the state," said Morgan.

But the bill's language is triggering a showdown. It allows those with concealed carry permits to bring guns into recreation centers like parks and pools but does not allow guns in places like city hall or court.

"It's not against the second amendment it's about safety of children. It's about making clear across the board what is to happen and what's not to happen," said Delegate Meshea Poore, D-Kanawha. "My concern is that these are safe havens and they shouldn't have to be concerned with someone getting a gun or mishandling a gun.

Another critic of the bill is Charleston Mayor Danny Jones. Saturday night he told 13 News he will ask the governor to veto the bill. He also warned if too many people bring guns to recreational centers he will shut them down.