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Saturday, March 5, 2016

After Veto Override, “Permitless” Carry Marches Forth In W.Va.

Less than 24 hours after West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed a “permitless” concealed-carry bill, the state’s House of Delegates on Friday overrode that veto by a vote of 64 to 33. According to Communications Director Jacque Bland, the Senate had already adjourned for the day when the vote took place, but Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael told the Charleston Gazette-Mail, “We’ll plan on addressing that tomorrow.”

HB 4145 would do away with the restriction on law-abiding residents carrying firearms in the manner that best suits their needs, strengthen penalties for possessing an illegal firearm and allow individuals between 18 and 21 to apply for a permit after undergoing training. It’s believed the Senate will follow suit in voting to override. If so, the measure would go into effect in late May.

Tomblin, who vetoed a similar bill last year, claims concerns for police safety prompted the veto, but no other state with “permitless” carry laws has ever had such issues.