Ashton Marra Published

Tomblin: Concerns Remain with Constitutional Carry Bill


Governor Tomblin was hesitant to say Tuesday whether he’d sign a Senate-approved bill that removes the permitting and safety training requirements to carry a concealed weapon in West Virginia.

The bill was approved by the upper chamber Monday and was expected to be reconsidered by the House of Delegates Tuesday; however the bill did not come up on the floor.

House Speaker Tim Armstead told members of the chamber his staff was still reviewing the changes Senators made to the legislation that originated in the House.

Along with removing the current permitting requirements, House Bill 4145 adds a provisional permitting process for 18 to 21-year-olds, and creates three new felony charges. Those charges include a felony for unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon and increased charges for using a weapon while committing another crime.

“With what went through the Senate, law enforcement officials still has a lot of concern with the bill as it went through,” Tomblin said Tuesday.

“We’ll wait to see what the House of Delegates does and what the final product is before I really make a comment on it, but I can say that law enforcement still does have concern about the bill as it stands today.”

In his veto of similar legislation approved during the 2015 session, Tomblin also cited law enforcement concerns over public safety.

The bill as amended by the Senate would need to be approved by the House before it’s sent to the governor’s desk. Otherwise, the bill will go to a conference committee where representatives of each chamber will negotiate the final version.