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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  • peleliu

    Hey Jim nCharleston, what does the 2nd. Admendent say?

  • Gunluvr

    Vote this anti-gun clown out of office ASAP. He can then go and gain employment with his anti-gun New York master, Bloomberg.

  • AL

    Maybe if the mayor would have taken better care of his own kids but what can you expect from an idiot.

  • Tom G

    Your children may be exposed to strangers carrying concealed weapons. Like . . . police officers?

    Mayor says he'll defy the law, implies that gun rights supporters are racists, and ignores the two decades track record of those with carry permits being MUCH more law abiding than the general public, not to mention that it is, in fact, legal to carry in schools in some states, and they have had no problems.

    Mayor of the Flat Earth Society.

  • Mike Dineen

    Thank god for Danny Jones hes' someone from the GOP With a brain

  • Marion

    They voted for him! Now vote him out !

    • Marion

      Impeach him !

  • Marion

    IMPEACH !!!!!!!!

  • Sean Conroy

    This really shows how far to the fringe right the state GOP has moved in the last 20 years: that Danny Jones--no liberal by any stretch of the imagination--is now a champion of sensible gun restrictions.

    • dave

      "sensible gun restrictions" is always code for the exact opposite. As in it's always sensible not to have adequate security.

  • dave

    I'm always amazed:

    1. Liberals say drug control is a complete failure and drugs should be legalized but gun control will be magically effective even though it has never been effective in the USA.

    2. Anyone believes restricting law abiding citizens from carrying a firearm will reduce crime.

    3. Anyone believes an area is safe that doesn't have proper security and doesn't allow law abiding citizens to carry. The Navy yard is the latest example but it happens over and over. And even the Feds know it, all Fed buildings have security. But our schools aren't allowed to have security or allow people to carry.

    It's like unlocking a bank and having no guards and saying "bank robbery is illegal so there is nothing to fear from a robbery." The only place this attitude is accepted is in the area of gun control. Period. The same celebrities that want to restrict gun ownership all have armed body guards.

  • ed way

    mr mayor grow up this bill is good for all I know I would sleep better knowing someone who is trained is there keepin an eye on my grandkids other than gang bangers if you put as much effort on real city probs as you do this bill your legacy would be remembered not laughed at

  • dave

    I guess they need a sign in front of every store (that's not in a mall) saying the same thing since people can carry in every store (that's not in a Mall/psychopath playground). I always wondered why the argument was made that people will be more unsafe if people carry concealed around and yet there are people carrying concealed almost everywhere in day to day life and no one feels the need for sign say when kids go to the grocery store.

    • dave

      It's also interesting that all the shootings have happened in "gun free zones" without proper security. I think if you establish a "gun free zone," it is your responsibility to provide proper security because you just endangered the people who enter this zone unless there is proper security in that zone. It's pretty simple. Either let people carry or pony up for real security.

  • Danny Jones Brother

    Hey Danny, you should have added a few more words - "Criminals bringing weapons in here -Beware!!

  • packfan

    Moe-Ron...enough said...

  • Roswell

    If you are not a member of a well-regulated militia, you should not have a gun. The second amendment is not vague about this.

    • bs

      Let me educate you cause you are un-informed. The writers of the 2nd Amendment in the 1700's refer to a well regulated militia, which in that day and time meant a losely formed group of neighbors or local people that banded together for their protection against those that would do their community harm (at the time indians and eventually the British). These were not formal military groups but a group of ordinary citizens.

      The Supreme Court decided on this definition in the case of Heller vs Washington DC to strike down laws banning gun ownership in the home.

  • Gary K.


    • Danny Jones Brother

      So West Virginia with one of the highest per capita of gun ownership is just a wild west of mass shootings, gun battles, and child shootings.

      Not like the safe havens of gun restricted places like Chicago, LA, New York, Washinton DC and Baltimore!