When are guns allowed in Charleston rec centers? Judge answers in court ruling

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Clarification about the carrying of concealed weapons into municipal recreation centers is part of a ruling from Kanawha County Circuit Judge James Stucky on a case the West Virginia Citizens Defense League filed against the City of Charleston.

That ruling, issued last week, finds that “individuals with a valid license to carry a concealed weapon” may legally take their gun into a municipal recreation center that is “not leased or used by the Board of Education for school activities, events or functions” if it is securely stored.

As per Stucky, secure storage is defined as “being on one’s person and in a holster, purse, or bag so long as the weapon remains attached to the individual, firmly adhered to one’s body and is not freely placed.”

Storage in a locked locker is also an option, but Judge Stucky found the City of Charleston is not required to provide locks and cases for as much.


For municipal recreation buildings that are leased by the Board of Education and used for school-sponsored events, activities or other functions, Judge Stucky said state law prohibiting firearms carrying on school property, concealed or otherwise, applies.

“This prohibition of firearms in these leased and used municipal buildings shall extend permanently, at all times and not just the times the functions or activities are taking place, so long as the Board of Education has a valid lease or right of possession of such facility,” Stucky wrote.

The Citizens Defense League first challenged the City of Charleston’s ordinance banning guns on city property in 2013.

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