MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The spokesperson for the National Rifle Association said the new law dealing with gun regulations in West Virginia’s cities is about clarity, including in instances when people with concealed carry permits walk into recreation centers.

“These are publicly funded, taxpayer funded facilities and they’re not doing government business,” said Catherine Mortensen, spokesperson for the National Rifle Association, on Thursday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

“It’s not the county courthouse or the city hall and taxpayers are paying for this (type of facility) and these people have concealed carry permits.  They’ve been vetted.  Everyone who has a concealed carry permit, and this law only applies to those individuals, they’ve been vetted through a background check.”

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin signed SB 317 earlier this week.  It removes gun regulations from the Home Rule process and, instead, limits all municipalities to state and federal gun laws.  All past grandfather clauses dealing with city gun laws have been removed as well.

In part, the law reads as follows: “A municipality may not prohibit a person with a valid concealed handgun permit from carrying an otherwise lawfully possessed firearm into a municipally owned recreation facility and securely storing the firearm out of view and access to others during their time at a municipally owned recreation facility.”

“Municipally owned recreation facility” is defined in the law as any municipal swimming pool, recreation center, sports facility, facility housing an afterschool program or other similar facility where children where children are regularly present.

“What this bill do is bring clarity to clarity to that,” said Mortensen.  She said, with the law, those with concealed carry permits will either have to have those guns on them or secured in a locker within recreation facilities.

“If the rec center doesn’t have a locker that’s secure, I have to leave it in my car or I have to keep it on me,” she explained.

Charleston Mayor Danny Jones has said his city may challenge that part of the law in court.

The law does let cities enact and enforce ordinances that prohibit or regulate the carrying or possessing of firearms in municipally owned or operated buildings.

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  • Independent View

    THORNTON--Aside from being a forester, a fisheries biologist, a wildlife biolgist, a conservation officer and and an authority on the Second Amendment and a political scientist and an authority on all other matters and the keeper of all knowledge in the Universe, you must be worn to a frazzle.
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    You're one negative dude.

  • thornton

    Ho Hum.....same old drivel on both sides seeking a foothold for an agenda.

  • sooo glad !!

    I live somewhere that Danny Jones is not the Mayor . thank you God !!

  • Independent View

    Thank you Hoppy for affording the NRA an opportunity to respond to Danny Jones' many unfounded rants. However, other WV media outlets allow him Carte blanc to carry on his childish behavior, but I understand his antics sell newspapers and garner TV viewers.
    THANKS!

  • Independent View

    @TOM & Stephen
    Pick up a Charleston newspaper or watch a Charleston TV station's 6:00 news.
    There are weekly shootouts on the streets of Charleston. Are these shootouts between law-abiding concealed carry permit holders? No, they are between thugs and Charleston's street criminals.
    I have personally been subjected to "Bum Rushes" twice in Charleston. The first was in Kaufman's men's department and the second was at the Chevron adjacent to CAMC General. Four thugs "Bum Rushed" me yelling, "give us your money or we'll hurt you bad!" Fortunately, I had the gas pump in one hand and a Bic lighter in the other waring them to stop or I'd light them up! They stopped. That evening I wished many times that I had a CC Permit and access to a hangun.
    You wouldn't have to stroll through the West Side, drive through and stop at the 7-11 on West Washington and the Go-Mart. See if you don't get accosted by a thug(s) or hear gunshots.
    A proven fact is Concealed Carry deters crime, because you do not know who is carrying--neither does the criminal or thug.
    But both of you can stay at home cowering behind your locked doors in your gated communities.

    • Stephen

      I certainly do not live in a gated community. I live in the west end of Huntington. Someone was killed just blocks from my house yesterday. If someone is out a gas station or running other errands fine, by all means, carry a weapon. I just believe that if a municipality feels it is easier for them to keep the peace by not allowing weapons in their own buildings then they should be able to do that. Again, that isn't the case so I won't be going to those buildings.

      I have a strong distrust for people who want to carry weapons. The vetting process is very flawed and becomes more so as the legislature continues to chip away at gun control laws.

      My father was a wonderful man and served his country in Vietnam over three tours. The things he endured there changed him forever. He was totally disabled by the post traumatic stress disorder he suffered from and unable to work. Yet, by the laws of this state, he was not only allowed to own a gun but had permit to carry as well. Several times during my teenage years I remember being scared to death he would kill himself or someone else. There were days when rational thought eluded him. We need expanded background checks-- specifically mental health, longer wait periods, and local governments should have the power to police themselves as they see fit.

      A bunch of rural Senators and Delegates shouldn't dictate policy for Charleston and Huntington. Just as what is right for upstate New York isn't right for Manhattan, Brooklyn, or Queens. I understand my experience is just that, my experience, but I have a strong distrust of people that feel they need be armed all the time. I certainly don't trust a simple computer background check and a weekend course to give a person an open end to carry a deadly weapon most everywhere they want.

    • JimJim

      "A proven fact is Concealed Carry deters crime, because you do not know who is carrying--neither does the criminal or thug." This makes no sense at all, I know that the criminal and thugs have concealed carry permits also. The law has made it easier for them to get guns. If they have no record, they can shoot first. Then use "stand your ground" and they win. Another question, Are you really willing to kill someone?? And, then have his friends come after you.

  • bac

    We should be very thankful that there are many conceal-carry permit holders out there. The police cannot be everywhere and they are a deterrent to crime. As noted in the article, these permit-holders have undergone State Police background checks and are deemed safe to be armed. When have you EVER heard of a gun crime anywhere in the U.S. by someone with a conceal-carry permit? You haven't. Be thankful for them, not fearful or resentful!

    • JimJim

      So, you haven't read any of the happenings in Florida.

      • Jason412

        JimJim is right, apparently you haven't heard bout the most recent CCW killing in Florida. Where a man carrying was hit with popcorn, and decided that was threat enough to kill someone in a crowded movie theater.

        • Aaron

          Are you referring to the tampa Bay retired police officer who had an altercation with a customer, went to complain to management and when he returned to his seat was verbally attacked before the altercation became physical?

          • Jason412

            Are you insinuating anything about this incident would indicate justifiable homicide?

            I'm talking about the man who regardless of his past occupation, was currently a citizen with a CCW. The same man who told police "As soon as I fired the shot, I knew it was a mistake, we should have just moved seats". The same man who not only killed the guy texting, but also shot the wife in the hand. The same man who was texting inside the movie theater not 10 minutes before he shot someone else for texting. The same man who shot 2 people in a crowded movie theater.

            Altercation became physical? The only thing physical was the shooter getting hit with popcorn, and then shooting 2 people.

            Verbally attacked? Yeah sure. So when he yelled at the guy for texting that was an "altercation" when he walked out and came back with no manager and the victim asked "did you go tell on me" that's a verbal attack.

            You can try to spin it however you want, but there's a reason the shooter was just denied bail and it's not because he was acting in self defense.

  • Tom

    I am completely baffled as to why grown men and women carry guns around with them all day. Even children eventually get tired of playing 'cops and robbers' or 'cowboys and Indians' and go watch TV. Somebody enlighten me...please.

    • Evan

      (Pre-post warning - the following is a novel.)

      Maybe because some of us are clued in as to just how dangerous this world can be, Tom.

      I have my CCP--have had it since I got out of the Army. The only reason you know that I have it, is because I just typed it. Like the majority of CCP holders, I don't go out of my way to broadcast that I have a weapon. Unless, I am placed into a situation where my life, or someone else's life, has been threatened. I've pulled my CCW two times, ever, in defense. I never fired a shot in either instance. (I hope I NEVER have to!!!)

      The first time I pulled it was because a woman was being physically and verbally threatened by an intoxicated male while she was attempting to pump gas at a 7/11 late one evening. (He had attempted to extort money out of her with some sob-story about being kicked out of the house by his wife. When the woman refused to give him anything, his demeanor flipped from woe-is-me to full-blown aggression and anger.) Being in the next row of pumps over, I came around to her side to defend her. I executed proper Levels of Force as best I could in a situation that was escalating quickly. I commanded him, twice, to back down and leave the woman alone. On the second command, I also informed him that I had a weapon and that I would use it if he further threatened the woman, or even myself. Even after THAT warning, he kept up his hostility and encroached more toward her than he had been (less than 10-12 ft). That is when I pulled my .45 and held it at the low-ready position (meaning that it was out, but pointed low and not directly at the subject). Once he saw what I had, his aggression--and his tail end--quickly left. Luckily, one of the gas station attendants saw what was happening from inside, and called the police department. Within two minutes, officers arrived and the suspect was quickly apprehended, arrested, and taken into custody.

      The other instance occurred at the house my girlfriend (now wife) rented, along with some other girls, while she was in grad school. There was a male there that was asked, repeatedly, to leave one night. (He was a "friend of a friend" of one of the roommates.) Another case of intoxication--imagine that. Apparently, this gentleman didn't like being repeatedly told by female to leave. (I can still remember his remarks vividly... "You have disrespected the wrong mother..." Use your imagination to finish the quote.) He pulled a Glock 19 from a bag he had brought with him--but the magazine had not been properly seated into the magazine well, and it fell out of the weapon as he pulled it out. As he reached for the dropped magazine, my .45 came out from under my sweater. Must be a scary sight to see a Gold Cup pointed center-mass at one's self. He quickly left the house. Police were again called. He was caught a little over a week later during a different crime, and was charged with possession of narcotics with intent to deliver, possession of a STOLEN FIREARM, fleeing, and a number of other felony charges. That was 2010, and he has been right where he belongs ever since--behind bars. I didn't know it at the time, because neither my girlfriend or I knew who he was before that evening... but he had been a thorn in the local police departments' sides for quite a long time. The information we provided the night of the altercation came to be pretty important when he was finally apprehended--the police recovered that stolen Glock from some bushes outside the apartment building he had fled from.

      Two incidents, two arrests, and a stolen gun off the streets. Nary a shot ever fired.

      It completely baffles me, Tom, as to how somebody such as yourself can question grown, RESPONSIBLY-ARMED citizens. Wake up, man. We are not the problem, nor are we your enemies. Many of us carry to protect not only ourselves and our loved ones, but also our neighbors. Thats what the people of this country have been doing for hundreds of years--before we even ended imperialistic oppression (which, by the way, was pulled off thanks to our citizenry being ARMED and ready to use those arms).

      The world is still very much a dangerous place. We are very fortunate to live in this country, where we have the Right, and Freedom, to protect ourselves. Thank God for the 2nd Amendment, and for Section 55-7-22 of the West Virginia Code.

      Hope you are a tad more enlightened, Tom. If not, so be it! Go and enjoy all of the other freedoms our country allows you to have. But please don't sarcastically question why some of us chose to embrace all of our rights. We might just be there to help you out of a terrible situation some day. (God forbid, of course.)

      • Ragweed

        Do you actually believe that someone reads a post that is this long?

      • Jason412

        Evan,

        I know you were talking to Tom, but I'd like to give my side if you don't mind.

        Someone like you, who obviously has the ability to remain calm and collected not just judging by your service to our nation and your stories, but by the way you took the time to make a respectable argument not filled with childish insults, I have no problem with having a gun around me in a public area.

        But there are others who have CCW's who are irrational, not properly trained, and if it came down to it would probably not be able to remain level headed when the shooting started. These are the people I worry about having guns around me as much as criminals.

        Personally, I know how dangerous the world can be as I spent a good part of my life in the inner city of a city far with far more crime than any city in WV. The worst thing that ever happened to me was seeing a very close friend die from a gunshot wound, a bullet fired by someone who before that night was a lawful gun owner. There were also a lot of less significant events, including a stray 7.62 bullet coming through my bedroom window.

        And while I'm a gun owner, I don't feel the need to carry one with me. However, I do carry a Smith & Wesson assisted opening pocket knife every where I go, although I've never had to use it. But I'm also a pretty big guy, and I've spent years in the gym, when it comes to an unarmed assailant or a threatening situation involving someone unarmed, that has really paid off for me several times.

        If it was an armed assailant on the street, even if I did carry, I wouldn't try to draw on someone who already had a gun on me. But someone breaking into my house while I was home, that's a different story, I wouldn't think twice about pulling a gun.

        My point in all this is, just because someone doesn't feel the need to carry a gun doesn't mean they see the world as some great place where nothing bad could ever happen to them, or they're against Second Amendment rights.

        I don't have a problem with people who have a CCW, are trained, and are truly responsible. I do have a problem with people who have a CCW, have no gun training other then the short CCW course, flaunt the fact they're carrying every chance they get, and just because they have no criminal record think they are responsible and feel that if an incident occurred they are some kind of super hero who needs to start shooting to save everyone around them.

        Those are the people I worry about having guns in an area full of children like a rec center. In my opinion, at the very least if you're going to let people carry in buildings where children play and learn, the training should be required far more often than once every 5 years. After all, shooting is a perishable skill.

        Like I said though, just my opinion on the matter.

        • BS

          Wow after reading this tear jerking War and Peace diatribe BS, I see flaming left wing gun grabber all though this. Just curious - what in the world is a "Smith and Wesson assisted opening pocket knife"

          You want to know why I call you this - here's just one example - Every person I have ever known with a CCW (and I will literally say that is in the hundreds) would never even think like you are writing. Everyone CCW holder I know without exception would do everything possible to get out of a trouble situation rather than pull that weapon and fire. That is because they truly understand the horrendous consequences for themselves, their families and the person they fire upon. No one involved will ever be the same again. But they will do it as an absolute last resort to save theirs or someone else's life.

          The fact that you write the way you do -that these people with CCW are not responsible tells me you have very little experience or knowledge about this subject. And as a matter of fact I see left wingers using many of your same baseless no data driven arguments that many CCW holders are irresponsible. Your points have no merit and are not based on real data - it is emotional tripe invented by these people. That is why I expose you son.

          Answer this - do you have a CCW? I know the answer no matter what you respond with...

        • The bookman

          Jason I would see your point if the news was filled with stories of wayward individuals playing John Wayne in a Sunday afternoon western. The facts are most people who carry concealed do so concealed. It's not a power trip. It's not an issue. And this is just Danny Jones pontificating in his normal, deliberate, controlling way. This is about Danny Jones, not guns. And I believe this ends Danny Jones. He is no longer relevant.

          • The bookman

            I get that, however the lack of an incident is no reason to restrict someone's right. There is no public outcry that rec centers aren't safe or dangerous. The outcry is that law abiding citizens should not be restricted from their constitutional right to bear arms.

          • Jason412

            Bookman,

            The news is also not filled with shootings inside rec centers, swimming pools, or anywhere else this law opened up CCW to.

            1, as in a single, murder in Charleston in 2013, only 6 in 2012, listening to people here talk you'd think Charleston had a crime rate similar to South Central LA in the early 90's.

    • 4Mounties

      Tom is too busy up in Quarry Creek, he wouldn't step foot on the West Side. People like guns, just like you like expensive cars.

    • BS

      Wow what rock have you been living under? You think protecting yourself, your family, friends, and innocent people from possible criminal threats is like playing cops and robbers?

      You are beyond enlightening with words - why don't you take a nice long walk on Charleston's west side someday at dusk.

      And perhaps think about what you would do if you were leaving the mall walking in the parking garage, with your wife and baby child, and you notice 4 thuggers are following you when one screams at you "crackers stop now"....

      • JimJim

        Why would you "take a nice long walk on Charleston's west side", soon the entire city will be like that. Criminals are better killers than you, you don't have a chance. They have guns also.

        • BS

          So what part of your argument Jimi Jimi really makes sense..lets see - Criminals are better killers than me. Do you know me? Do you know many criminals? Why will the entire city of Charleston be like the west side shortly? Is it that you are so smart because you can see the future? Maybe its because you know since SB317 was passed there will be more guns and therefore more crime? Unlike those safe gun free havens like Chicago, Washington DC, LA and San Francisco.

          Gotta hand it to you JimiJimi you sure told me. You are a smart one for sure...you and Jason412 how can anyone stand up to that massive intellect?

    • The bookman

      Have you ever felt that you or your family were not safe? For some, it is simply a matter of personal security, and personal responsibility. If it provides a level of comfort and safety for a person who feels threatened, and the individual has the permit to carry concealed, why do you feel their constitutional right should be infringed? What harm do they infer on you, sir?

  • Craig

    It's law, nanny jones and other useless idiots against the 2nd amendment can shut the hell up. Law effective upon passage, exercising my rights today!!