CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The City of Charleston is headed to court to challenge several provisions of the newly passed gun law that would enable people with conceal carry permits to carry firearms into the city’s recreation centers and other city properties.
Attorney Sean McGinley, who represents the city, said people have not considered the kind of argument Charleston intends to make to the judge.
“In my view the legislature has not created some law that allows people to bring guns into a municipally owned recreation center,” said McGinley. “The odd thing they’ve done here is simply tied the hands of cities.”
McGinley argued in an appearance on “MetroNews Talkline” Tuesday lawmakers have caused more confusion than anything with the legislation.
“Why are we encouraging anyone to bring a firearm into these buildings just so they can lock it up?” he asked rhetorically. “It really begs a lot of questions and if the legislature’s goal was to create uniformity and clarity it has failed miserably.”
The city will seek a declaratory judge for a specific part o the bill which enables anybody challenging the city ordinance to have their attorney fees paid by the city. McGinley says they’ll ask a judge for a direction on the matter and move from there.
Ultimately the city believes its rec centers include Head Start and after-school programs, therefore making them De facto schools. A state law on the books already forbids anyone with a gun, knife or other weapon–regardless of their registration status–to have a weapon in a school.
Further clouding the issue is whether the bill requires people carrying a concealed weapon to secure it in a locked locker or whether carrying it on their belts fits the determination of “secure.”
“It’s obvious the way the legislature in its wisdom has chosen to pass this law, it does not give any guidance to what ‘securely storing this firearm’ means,” McGinley said.