During this last legislative session, the West Virginia House and Senate passed a bill that allows persons over the age of 21 to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.
The idea that a permit to carry a concealed weapon makes anyone safer is simply nonsense. It falls in the same category of reasoning that says passing laws forbidding gun ownership increase safety. If that logic worked, the laws against murder and robbery would have solved the crime problem years ago.
Democrat Governor Ray Tomblin vetoed the bill on Thursday. Apparently, the idea of a free people was just a bit more than he could stomach.
“Our law enforcement officers have dedicated their lives to keeping us safe, and helping us in times of need,” said Gov. Tomblin before signing the veto. “Now it’s time for us to return the favor and veto House Bill 4145 for the safety of our law enforcement officers and all West Virginians.”
Surrounded by representatives from every law enforcement branch in West Virginia, he signed the veto to House Bill 4145 saying passing it would put law enforcement in even more danger.
“But its not just a danger to law enforcement, all of the public is equally as in danger. I dread the opportunity that people will be carrying a gun to every football game, to the malls on Friday night, to their favorite restaurants,” said Sheriff Steve Tanner, President of the West Virginia Sheriffs’ Association.
This is simply making stuff up. A weapon carried concealed without a permit is no more dangerous to law enforcement than a weapon carried concealed with a permit. The issue is rather what is done with that weapon. Open carry without a permit was already legal in West Virginia and, personally, I think open carry is much more problematic than concealed carry.
Yesterday, the West Virgnia House overrode the veto. Today the West Virginia Senate did the same.
West Virginia now joins Alaska, Wyoming, Arizona, Vermont, Maine and Kansas as states with some form of constitutional carry.