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WV AG Announces Concealed Handgun Licenses Will Qualify for Federal Exemption

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West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced June 4 West Virginia concealed handgun licenses will now qualify as an alternative to the background check requirements under Brady Law.

The Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act is a federal law that institutes federal background checks on firearms purchased in the United States. It was signed into law in 1993 and went into effect in 1994.

As a result, West Virginians with concealed handgun licenses (“CHL”) issued on or after June 4 will be exempted from undergoing additional background checks every time the license-holder seeks to purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer.

“We are proud to say West Virginia concealed handgun licensees now qualify for a benefit that has been secured by less than a majority of the 50 states,” Morrisey said in a news release. “This is a significant development for law-abiding gun owners in West Virginia who frequently contact our Office regarding the state’s ongoing efforts to qualify for the Brady exemption.”

For all permits issued on or after June 4, 2014, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) will now recognize the required background check associated with West Virginia’s concealed handgun licensing process as a sufficient alternative to regular background checks under the Brady Law. West Virginians with CHLs issued before the June 4, 2014, qualifying date must contact the sheriff of the county in which the license-holder is a resident in order to qualify their pre-existing permit as an alternative to the background check requirements of the federal law.

The Attorney General’s Office worked closely with the West Virginia Legislature to secure the recent passage of H.B. 4186, which clarified West Virginia’s permitting process to ensure uniformity with federal law.

“It’s been my great pleasure to work hand-in-hand with many state lawmakers and citizens alike on this important issue.” Morrisey added. “The Office of the Attorney General will do everything in its power to protect the Second Amendment rights of West Virginians.”