Ashton Marra Published

Tomblin Vetoes Concealed Carry Bill


Surrounded by law enforcement officers from across the state, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed a bill that would allow anyone over the age of 21 in West Virginia to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. 

The bill approved by lawmakers last month also removes the requirement to take a safety training course in order to carry a concealed handgun.

Tomblin expressed concerns about public safety before announcing his veto, pointing to the dozens of police officers in attendance who say the change would negatively affect their jobs. 

On top of permitless carry, the bill would have allowed for provisional license for 18 to 21-year-olds, who would have to go through the permitting and safety training requirements currently in place. 

“We do not oppose good laws, but when something endangers the lives of the public, we have to share our concerns,” Raleigh County Sheriff Steve Tanner said before the veto.

In his veto message, Tomblin said law enforcement officers throughout the state overwhelmingly oppose the legislation. He also said the $50 tax credit included for anyone who still goes through the permitting process is “ill-advised and unclear.”

It takes a simple majority to override a gubernatorial veto in the state.