U.S. Senator Joe Manchin says he opposes a bill that would remove permit and training requirements for carrying a concealed weapon in West Virginia.
Members of the House of Delegates approved Senate Bill 347 Thursday allowing anyone over the age of 21 to carry a concealed weapon without a permit in the state. The bill as approved by the Senate would have set the age minimum at 18.
In a news release Thursday, Manchin noted that he is a member of the National Rifle Association and considers himself an advocate of the Second Amendment. However, Manchin said allowing a person to carry a concealed weapon without a permit or training is "irresponsible" and "dangerous."
"There is not one West Virginian whose Second Amendment rights will be infringed without this bill. With the right to bear arms comes the responsibility to use it in a safe and reasonable manner," Manchin said in the Thursday news release.
"In West Virginia, we believe in gun sense, which is common sense, and it only makes common sense for concealed carry applicants to receive proper training. I commend the brave legislators who voted no and represented their constituents who know that this is irresponsible. I strongly oppose Senate Bill 347.”
Members of the Senate will have to reconsider the House amendment before approving the final bill. Governor Tomblin has not said if he will sign the legislation.