March 5, 2016
CHARLESTON, WV – The West Virginia legislature did not waste any time in overriding Governor Tomblin’s veto of HB 4145, also known as “Constitutional carry” or permitless carry. Governor Tomblin vetoed a similar bill in 2015, but the veto occurred after the legislature had adjourned, making a veto override difficult.
Governor Tomblin received the Constitutional carry bill on 26 February and he waited to the last possible day to veto it, 3 March. The bill was passed early enough for the legislature to vote on a veto override if necessary. The House of Delegates overrode his veto on 4 March, and the Senate completed the override on 5 March.
The Sheriffs Associations have been against the bill en masse, citing the fact it would make it easier for law enforcement officers to be shot because they could not see who is carrying a gun. Many lobbyists in favor of the bill say this argument makes no sense. Art Thomm, the vice president of the West Virginia Citizen’s Defense League who wrote WV HB4145 along with WVCDL President Keith Morgan and other members of WVCDL, was pleased that the House overrode Governor Tomblin’s veto.
The bill, it will go into effect 90 days from the time of passage.
The number of states with Constitutional carry now stands at eight, now equaling the number of states that hang on to the discredited “may issue” carry laws being disputed in the courts. If the decision of the three judge panel in the Peruta case is upheld in the Ninth Circuit, the number of “may issue” states will drop to six, as California and Hawaii are required to go to “shall issue” status.
Constitutional carry legislation is being considered in Indiana, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah. Mississippi enacted a law last year that is very close to Constitutional carry. Constitutional carry is the law in 99% of Montana and Idaho.