The legislature is considering several bills that would roll back more restrictive gun ordinances passed by several cities. The bills are aimed at Charleston and other cities that have added their own restrictions on gun purchases and were grandfathered in several years ago when the legislature passed a preemption law.
West Virginia is a strong pro-gun state, so the bills are attracting support from both Democrats and Republicans.
One of the Republican-sponsored bills cleared the House Political Subdivisions Committee Wednesday. Bill co-sponsor Del. Patrick Lane, R-Kanawha, says this is about protecting Constitutional rights.
“We wanted to make sure that every citizen, regardless of what municipality they live in, has the opportunity to fully exercise those self-protection Second Amendment Constitutional rights,” Lane said.
Charleston, South Charleston and Dunbar all have ordinances that place further restrictions on gun purchases. The legislature passed a preemption law that prevents cities and counties from passing gun laws that are more restrictive than state law, however, cities with existing gun ordinances were grandfathered in.
The bills being considered at the capitol would wipe away the grandfather protection and subject those municipalities to the same guns laws as the rest of the state.
Several House bills, including the one passed Wednesday by the Political Subdivisions Committee, are now before the House Judiciary Committee.