CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Charleston Mayor Danny Jones is waging a war on a gun bill that passed the state Legislature on Saturday. It allows those with conceal carry permits to bring a gun into city recreation centers, swimming pools and municipal parks. Jones fired off the first shot Tuesday.

“We’re not going to provide lockers for guns. We’re not going into the gun business,” stressed Jones. “If [Del.] Tim Manchin or Senator [John] Unger or one of the other people down there want to come to work the door at our rec center and collect guns, they can do it. We’re not doing it!”

File photo

Charleston Mayor Danny Jones says signs like these may have to be displayed at the city’s recreation center if the municipal gun bill becomes law.

Jones stood outside the Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation Center in downtown Charleston Tuesday morning backed by several city and community leaders who are against the bill. Rev. Matthew Watts, of Grace Bible Church, was one of them.

“We believe this legislation is insensitive at best but it also borderlines on being irresponsible and somewhat reckless because this is a safe haven for children,” Watts said of the community center.

Jones said the bill might not be racist but it is about class.

“Can you imagine if there was a rec center up there next to Holz Elementary or Overbrook Elementary or any of the schools in the more high-income neighborhoods and all the sudden they were ordered you have to let guns in there,” said Jones. “Can you imagine what the uproar would be?”

He said the city’s rec centers are located in urban areas where those with lower incomes bring their children for community events and after-school program. He said the argument that there are already guns in those areas doesn’t fly.

“I know that illegal guns have been here. We understand all that argument. That’s one thing,” stressed Jones. “It’s another thing for the state to actually sanction the carrying of pistols in this rec center!”

Jones said the one thing that could keep guns out of the King Center is a sign that hangs above the door. It reads, “Kanawha County Schools Head Start.”

Jones said the law is very clear, guns cannot be present on school property.

Meanwhile, Rev. Watts urged people all across the state to take a stand against guns in places where children congregate.

“We think our legislators are really out of touch on this. We make a strong appeal to our Governor Earl Ray Tomblin to veto this bill!”

Jones said unless someone speaks out the bill will be signed into law. The mayor has already spoken to Governor Tomblin about his concerns.

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  • Ben Dover WV

    How this man got elected to anything boggles the mind.

    You really don't need to go out of your way to try to prove just how ignorant Danny Jones really is - he can prove it all by himself - every time he opens his fool mouth or puts on a ridiculous show like he did today. How embarrassing for Charleston and how embarrassing for West Virginia.

  • dusty

    This Jones sounds like the jerk mayor we have here in Parkersburg real Home Rulers.

  • Tired

    Time for a change of mayors I say.

  • Tired

    Maybe we as parents should be teaching our kids how to shoot and handle a gun. I'm pretty sure that would help. Instead we buy them games of death and never teach them anything . Except how to text.

  • Patchy

    The mayor and his sign are more juvenile than any child who might enter the property.

  • Independent View

    It occurrs to this lawful concealed carry "Stranger" that Danny Jones has lost his moral compass--if he ever had one. He should be focusing on the health and well-being of Charleston and surrounding environs and the 300,000 people whose water supply was contaminated and further, lobbying to determine what the potential long-term effects on those people's health may be. Now, that would be a worthy endeavor and he could have a sandwich board sign made supporting safe water and parade endlessly in front of city hall.
    Further, Head Start Centers, wherever held, fall under strict government guidleines dictating who can enter a center and for what purpose. Anyone entering a Head Start Center must be a teacher, teacher's ass't, cook or maintenance personnel. All have undergone CIB background checks prior to employment and carry and must present their photo ID to a closed-circuit TV outside before entry is granted. Likewise for parents or designated care givers as they too must have an ID and present it for entry.
    The Head Start Programs do more to protect children than public schools do. Certainly, this may be attributed to the fact that Head Start programs are serving hundreds of children rather than public schools serving thousands.
    It does not lessen the fact that real and tangible security systems are in place at Head Start Centers.
    In summary, the Mayor's endless tirads is all about ego and has little if anything to do with public safety! You lost Mayor Jones, the people have spoken loud and clear through their elected representatives rather than headline grabbing antics--move on!
    The mayor needs to can his tirads and baseless attacks. He has picked a fight much bigger than his ego can match!

    • David

      Wait a minute. You're saying the same people that complain about voter ID must present an ID to pick up their kids at Head Start? Hmmmmm.

  • Jim N Charleston

    Danny boy

    How bout a nice cup of STFU

    City ordinances don't over ride the 2nd Ammendment of the US Constitution. Maybe if you weren't such an insulting arrogant jerk to gun owners this wouldn't be happening.

    I'm Jim N a good mood cause Danny boy is Sad & Mad

    • Aaron

      I agree and nominate this the best post of the day.

      • John

        I'll second that nomination.

  • JT

    Jones keeps getting re-elected which speaks volumes of the mindset in Charleston. Huntington is little Detroit but Charleston is little Chicago.

  • play it again sam

    and the worst thing is the sheep in charleston will re-elect this idiot again.
    my weapon will be with me whenever I enter charleston, regardless of the laws as those criminals on the west side dont care what dollar danny or the law says

  • Brian

    Again, debating logic with the likes of Danny Jones and those of same mindset is pointless. But the basis of his argument may seem novel to some. If it's new to you then I challenge you to research Virginias' laws. In months prior to the Virginia tech shooting, state legislators applauded a bill preventing CCW on campus. . . Well, you should know the rest of the story as I'm sure dozens of families with ties to the VT community do. But hey don't trust my word, I'm just one of those strangers with a CCW.

  • Ryan

    I think it is interesting that no one wants a federal gun control law because it would trump states rights but it is o.k. for a state law to trump local rights. If locally elected representatives decide to have an ordnance banning weapons from a local community facility then they should be able to do that , and then they can face the voters who want to change the ordinance. It seems hypocritical to say that federal laws are "Big Brother" and this is not?

    • Bartholamule

      The city did pass a gun ordinance. SB317 is the response from the citizens, not the legislature.

      • I am a NANNY JONES supporter

        Danny has yet to figure out Charleston is part of Kanawha County nor has he come to the realization that the people also are represented by a Power Higher than His...

    • Dont_Tread_on_Me

      Amen Ryan. That has been my argument all along. Replace the word "guns" with "bubble gum" or any other innate object. This issue is not so much about guns than it is Big Brother State Govt is telling a local government what it can and can't legislate for its local citizens. An issue like this should be decided by local citizens and the ballot box. To all who support this bill, answer me this ... what would your reaction be if the federal government passed a law stating, than in order to bring the cities and communities in country in unison, reversed this law to apply a stricter federal gun law? Don't think it can happen? Remember when the concept of universal health care (Obamacare) was thought to be absurd?

      • First to Sign

        Don't Tread and Ryan, your arguments are a Red Herring.. The Federal Government has self imposed specific restriction on themselves through the 2nd Amendment,, Find a similar restriction in the WV State Constitution and your argument may hold water.

      • Jay Cardozo

        Are you serious? Where in the US Constitution or the WV Constitution does it guarantee the right to keep and chew gum? The US Constitution gives the federal government enumerated powers and reserves the general police power to the state. The WV Constitution specifically states: "A person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home and state, and for lawful hunting and recreational use." This seems to be about as clear as it can be. The US Constitution leaves the general police power to the states. The state Constitution maintains that power, it does not delegate it to municipalities. Of course if you don't care about the state or federal constitution, then why care about rights.

        • Jason412

          You must be reading a different Second Amendment than most, I've never seen anything about "hunting" or "recreational use"

          "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

          • SCOTT

            The WV Constitution specifically states: "A person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home and state, and for lawful hunting and recreational use."

          • Jason412

            That's my mistake, seen the numerous references to the US Constitution before and after the quote, must of misread.

          • The bookman

            He clearly cited the WV Constitution, not the US Constitution.

          • WVHOPE

            Don't throw actual facts into the conversation, peoples heads might explode.

  • HopeWVU

    Yeah because if you have a concealed weapons permit means your responsible...bunch of dumb hicks.

    • I chose Rutgers

      WVU, what is your "Hope" that you can get your degree "the old WVU fashion way" by buying it?
      ... and more likely, you are still hoping WVU Football becomes the pride of the College Football world

      • Who cares

        Way to add to the discussion, trust me we are all glad you chose Rutgers...

        • I chose Rutgers

          That's right, my friend, I chose Rutgers over WVU because there were too many students from NJ in Morgantown.

          • Content WVn

            I'm sure you found fewer NJ students at Rutgers. Surely that's not the logic of a Rutgers grad.

    • Jay Cardozo

      Do a little research. The statistics show CCP holders are about 1/3 as likely to commit murder as a police officer. I'm not talking justified shootings, I'm talking murder. CCP holders are about 1/10th as likely as the general public to be involved in an illegal shooting. So these hicks are more responsible than the police and the general public based on national statistics, but when you can call names and use emotions like "its for the kids," then why worry about actual facts.

      • WVHOPE

        CCW does not mean you are prepared to handle a hostile element in a urban setting. It also makes law enforcements job a lot harder when not only do the have the original shooter to deal with but also a bunch of untrained armed people running around. In this situation how do you know who you are firing on? Gunshots ring out everyone grabs a weapon what part of CCW trains you to evaluate targets, how do you not know the other CCW carriers won't shoot you? Your right it is not only for the kids safety it is for the public in generals safety. Proud gun owner, since it's obvious if you stand up against any gun law you labeled as left wing nut job.

        • bs

          Hello! So you are defining responsible as someone with military or police training?Just because you have significant training in handling a weapon DOES NOT MAKE YOU RESPONSIBLE. You don't even know the difference! Do you care to research the statistics on how many cops and military have committed murders and suicides compare that to CCW permit holders?

          You think just because you were in the military you are qualified. Depending on where you were and what you did, I think that is an argument for requiring YOU to have a psychological exam before giving you a weapon! I would feel much safer with rational CCW permit holders who have trained with their weapon than someone like YOU.

          • bs

            Jason412 debating with you is like debating with a 9th grader - your arguments are juvenile. You live in a fantasyland, it just doesn't exist or reflect reality.

            You apparently have never shot a weapon or very little. There is only so much to learn, once you learn handling or shooting a weapon, you have to practice it. Refresher classes are a waste of time for the vast majority of people. It takes many rounds down range to learn how to handle your weapon, not a REFRESHER COURSE. For the typical citizen, weapon refresher classes are useless. Worthwhile additional classes may be marginally useful to teach changes in laws, but how often do they change?

            And besides gun classes CAN'T TEACH MORAL RESPONSIBILITY

            How old are you anyway?

          • Jason412

            That should read "no" not "north", didn't catch the auto correct.

          • Jason412

            You just assume everyone with a CCW train with their firearms regularly? That's absolutely ridiculous. There are north required refersher coueses or recerification's, someone could go through the class and not shoot their gun for 5 years. To assume everyone takes the initiative to train on their own demonstrates how irrational you are.

      • Jason412

        I think his point was that having a CCW makes you no more of a responsible individual then someone who doesn't have a CCW.

        The man with a CCW that just killed the young father in a movie theater in Florida is a good example of the "shoot first, regardless of threat" mentality seems to becoming more and more common.

        From one of the articles, the shooter says "As soon as I pulled the trigger, I said, 'Oh, this is stupid,'" he said in the tape. "There's no justification for what happened in there. If I had to do it over again, it would have never happened. We would have moved."

        I don't want to see guns taken from everyone, as that would impact me as well, but I also don't want someone like this deranged maniac who would shoot someone over texting to have guns around me. There is never a reason for a verbal dispute between 2 law abiding citizens to turn into a homicide.

        • bs

          The theater shooter you are talking about was a TRAINED retired cop! There goes WVHope's argument. (Anyone with weapons/military/cop training are responsible).
          The fact of the matter is a person's criminal history is probably as good a reasonable indicator of responsibility than anything. So a person suitable to obtain a CCW is as responsible as anyone, they need to know how to handle their weapon to adequately.

          • bs

            Jason412 Passing a background check and taking a gun safety course is as good an indication of the suitability for a CCW as anything else that is readily available. Regardless of the requirements devised to give out a CCW there will ALWAYS be exceptions. If you have a better process why don't you list your brilliant ideas here for critique rather than acting the back seat driver with your sniping from the peanut gallery?

            And while you are doing that, why don't you also read the 2nd Amendment while at so to make sure you don't further violate it?

          • Jason412

            So him being a retired cop proves what since I said nothing about cops? Fact is he was a citizen carrying a legally permited pistol who opened fire and shot a father and mother in a movie theater with 25 people in it over a phone. A CCW doesn't make you any more responsible than most law abiding citizens who don't have one.

            Passing a background check and taking a short gun safety course once every 5 years doesn't give you some kind of power and ability to not do something stupid.

    • bs

      Hope WVU - Typical flaming left wing gun grabber rhetoric, when you don't have two IQ points to rub together to make a valid argument you insult and call names.

      • bs

        Here's my argument - People with CCW have passed federal, state and local background checks which include all felonies, and even certain types of misdemeanors - they look at your record for your entire life and only a few items have time statute of limitations on them. Basically unless you challenge them in court they can deny a permit for anything they desire. That is as good as it gets other than an unreliable subjective psychological examination.

        If you protected the US Constitution/ Bill of Rights you should have actually READ IT (called the 2nd Amendment)! Or were you sleeping in high school which caused you to have to join the military because you couldn't get a job, go to college or get a trade?

        Anytime you want to challenge me to any contest of intelligence or physical prowess you bring you two IQ points and your big mouth and meet me imbecile

      • Jason412


        Don't be surprised BS doesn't see the irony of calling you names, while insulting you for calling people names. He's made it clear if you're not 100% in favor of letting anyone carry a gun anywhere you're a "left wing gun grabber", regardless of if you own guns.

        • Jason412

          How can a gun owner be a gun grabber? With all your IQ please answer that. As far as your insults, they make you look far worse than me.

        • bs

          Jason412 - Irony? You and WVHope must be boyfriends except you have one more IQ point that he does. And you are a girl man - Now THAT is derogatory name calling...

          Flaming left wing, gun grabber are symbolic descriptive labels for fanatical, liberals that want to repeal the 2nd Amendment. These people provide illogical emotional arguments with little basis in fact for their position. Or they lie, are uninformed completely and provide distortions to confuse people who are trying to understand the real issues. Much like Danny Jones - and you - about your position against SB317.

          But if you would actually READ (unlike what you did in high school) you would understand all the differences I have outlined above.

    • wvumounties8

      And you are responsible?? Why don't you grow up and quit calling people names when you don't agree with their right to free speech. You could have disagreed without making it personal. I've been properly trained, have had my WV CWP in Kanawha Co for 15 years and carry every day. I am active in an FOP gun range. I am not a LEO. But as a responsible, law abiding citizen, I am in favor of this bill simply because it makes the citizens of the State of WV equal. Only 4 cities in WV were grandfathered and allowed to make their own ordinances. So if there is any class injustice, it is that these cities are saying that they are better than the rest of the entire State of WV.

      • Wes

        wvumounties..I have a 3 year old g/daughter who will be entering headstart and all the other programs in a short time..And I sincerely hope to God that there ARE armed, law abiding citizens like yourself in the building when she does...Gun control doesnt cure crazy!

      • Doc. Holiday

        @WVUmounties8 like your post.

  • Wes in Harpers Ferry

    Mayor Jones is seriously off his rocker. Having law abiding citizens carrying won't cause an issue. Criminals and insane people with ill intentions cause an issue. If more good properly trained people have firearms then this will deter criminals from using a rec center or a school as a place to perpetuate a gun crime.
    This guy needs to wake and smell the crap he's shoveling.

  • Dumb

    Jones just doesn't get it. Allowing someone to carry a properly permitted concealed weapon in these type of places may be the only thing to stop someone with an illegal gun with bad intentions from harming innocent people. He is being illogical to think outlawing guns in public places would stop someone from doing harm if that was their intent. Criminals don't care what the law says!

    • joe

      when have u ever seen a shooting at a rec center....

      • jeremy

        November 16, 2013 in Columbus, Oh. not that far away.

        • Factual Therory

          BALONEY!! the shooting was 10:30 at night and was NEAR a rec center. I looked it up...

        • Jason412

          The LA Jewish Community Center shooting in the late 90's is probably the biggest one.

          • bs

            The shooter in LA Jewish Center DID NOT have a CCW permit! Virtually NO ONE in California can get a CCW! So your point was what?

            In fact he was a criminal that brought guns into a no-gun zone area. Perhaps CCW holders who could legally carry there could have stopped him?

            Are you listening Danny Jones?

      • Jamie

        Hey Joe, I'm guessing there were regular recreation events at all of the schools that have been invaded by a mentally distrubed shooter. Imagine if just one school offical had been armed. Maybe a life or two could have been saved if the terrorist had been conforted. I'm sure you'll say that a responsible armed person may have made it "worse". I choose not to be helpless and would be glad that if my children were protected by responsible adults with CWP in a public setting. Make terrorists think twice!!!

  • Jason R.

    "Warning: Children Entering Municipal Recreation Centers May Be Exposed to Creeps Like Danny Jones"

    • Jamie

      I personally love the sign!! To me it says
      "Hey criminal, if you are violent here, there is a good chance your victims may shoot back"
      Have you ever heard of a gun shop being robbed when operators were present? Not likely, criminals already know they will face return fire! Too Risky!!!

      • Teufel

        Good point