A bill to remove the permitting and safety training requirements to carry a concealed weapon in West Virginia is just one vote away from becoming law.
Delegates voted 64 to 33 to override Governor Tomblin's veto of House Bill 4145 Friday morning.
Surrounded by law enforcement representatives from across the state, Tomblin publicly vetoed the bill Thursday, citing public safety concerns.
Aside from removing the permitting and training requirements for people over the age of 21, the bill also sets up a provisional licensing process for 18 -to -20-year-olds and strengthens some felony laws for carrying unlawfully.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael expects his chamber to follow the House’s lead, even though a recent public opinion poll found 71 percent of likely West Virginian voters are opposed to the change.
"I recognize that there are issues as it relates to public opinion on this but at the end of the day, it is a constitutional right,” Carmichael said, “and we really don't see much difference between carrying in an open manner without a permit or putting a jacket on over your weapon and then being a felon."
The Senate is expected to vote to override the veto Saturday morning.