MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The city attorney in Martinsburg says two proposed ordinances Martinsburg’s City Council will take up Thursday are designed to bring the Berkeley County city into compliance with the new state law addressing municipal gun regulations.

“We’re trying to figure out what’s the best for the city and for the citizens of how to deal with this new law without getting ourselves in dutch with it and, the next thing you know, we’re part of another lawsuit,” said Kin Sayre.

The two proposed ordinances separately address gun regulations for government buildings and for city-owned recreation facilities.  Sayre, though, said the new law is not clear in several areas, especially when it comes to the rec centers.

As the law reads, a municipality cannot keep a person with a valid concealed carry permit from carrying a lawfully owned firearm into a municipally owned recreation facility and “securely storing the firearm out of view and access to others during their time at the municipally owned recreation facility.”

“We are not 100 percent sure what that means,” Sayre said of that provision on Tuesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

Those with the National Rifle Association, that group that pushed for the recreation center language, said the provision means a person with a concealed carry permit can take their gun into the rec facility, but it would have to be secured, either in a locker or on their person.

Several state lawmakers and others have disagreed with that interpretation.

In Martinsburg, “The (proposed) ordinance would only prohibit the open carrying or unlawfully concealed carrying into the recreational facility,” Sayre said.  “We’ve tried to decide — does that mean that we have to provide lockers or does that mean lockers inside the dressing room or is it securely stored upon a person?”

City officials in Martinsburg are not alone in their confusion.  The City of Charleston has already filed for a declaratory judgment, seeking clarity, in Kanawha County Circuit Court on the rec center provision in the law.

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

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  • Chris1529

    If you have a legal conceal carry permit, you should be able to carry your weapon anywhere at anytime. That would eliminate any confusion.

    • DWL

      That's the point Chris. Liberals are afraid that they will loose control of their need for dependency of the system. It's obvious in every action and law they pass. CONTROL of the MASSES.

  • DWL

    You got to remember, the City's attorney isn't necessarily the sharpest pencil in the desk. Now ask him about the marijuana laws and his wife can tell you all about those. As for the mayor, he's a total waste, as is the council of none. There is absolutely no where safe in that town. It is a wasteland of drugs, drunks and whores. The mayor can attest to that. He even built them a park, complete with benches to satisfy the hooker and their johns, provide a place for the alcoholics and addicts to crash. They even erected a toilet on the statue pedestal - very fitting for the toilet they call a town. When someone yells "Fire in the Hole", another meth lab has exploded.

    • BS

      I read the article and can tell she isn't the sharpest tool in the shed. Good Lord the law is clear - if you have a CHP and have a legally owned weapon concealed on your person you can carry in the rec center. That is secure, as secure as it is while similarly carrying while walking down a city street, in a private store/establishment that isn't posted as gun free, in your home, in your car, wherever. Where does it say lockers?

      If the writers of the law or anyone disagree than they shouldn't have voted for it.

    • chasmo

      so accurate. just drive thru town and notice all the " babes" trying to get your attention- I am amazed that any downtown restaurant can make it. would love to go, but not worth all the hassles -- take a moment and " check it out " .

    • Teufel

      an accurate description, IMO

  • Gary Karstens

    As usual, people in WV get whacked out when restrictions are placed on these killing guns. Yeesh! But West Virginians refuse to hear any thing about homosexuals being entitled to get married. Yeesh!

    • BS

      Yea Gary Karstens, we really need to put a stop to those killing guns, you just never know when they will just jump out from behind doors and start shooting. They should be allowed to put up signs to stop this blood letting for God's sake!

    • Brian

      Never seen a killing gun or life threatening liquor. I have seen murderers and drunk drivers though in the mug shot papers for $1 at many local gas stations though.

  • The bookman

    Good grief this isn't difficult. Securely stored and out of view could mean a multitude of things, but ultimately should be at the discretion of the individual with the permit. I, like so many others, cannot fathom the need to carry concealed in a rec center, but the law is there to protect the permit holder from prosecutions from municipalities with variations in regulations regarding guns.

    Is a person who is properly permitted any more of a danger in a rec center than at the mall? C'mon people. Accept the fact that the law passed and move on to the next issue!

    • wvu82

      I could say the same thing about Obamacare. Accept it and move on!

      • The bookman

        Then let's fully implement the law! With all its negative impacts. No extensions, exemptions, or free passes from compliance. Let the American People decide if what they have been told regarding the benefits of its enactment bear fruit. So far, that has not been the case.