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Senate Committee Considering Concealed Carry Changes


Senators on the Judiciary Committee are still considering amendments to a bill that would allow West Virginians to carry a concealed weapon without a permit after a meeting Tuesday. 

The Constitutional carry bill, as it’s commonly referred to, could remove both the permitting and safety training requirements under current West Virginia code to carry a concealed handgun. Both of those requirements come with fees totaling $250, something supporters of the bill say is prohibitive.

Members of the Judiciary Committee began considering amendments to the bill Tuesday, including a new version of the legislation that removes tax credits for permits and safety courses included in the House-approved version.

Judiciary Chairman Sen. Charles Trump said Tuesday what he is sure of is that the bill passed by his committee will include stricter penalties for people who unlawfully carry a weapon or commit a crime using a weapon.

“Obviously an object of the bill is to make it easier and to quit charging people fees when they’re law-abiding citizens, but at the same time, the concerns that have been addressed by law enforcement we want to address. Bad people with guns, people who have criminal records and are not allowed to have guns, we’re going to ramp up penalties for those people if they strap on a weapon.”

Governor Tomblin vetoed a similar piece of legislation after the 2015 session.

Members of the committee will continue discussing proposed amendments Wednesday morning.