W.Va. Bill Requires Cities to Follow State, Federal Gun Laws

Gun laws
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Creating uniform gun laws or getting around home rule?

West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin signed into law a bill requiring all cities to follow state and federal gun laws.

It has particularly been an issue in the City of Charleston.

The bill allows people with concealed carry permits to bring guns to city-owned recreation areas, including swimming pools.

The City of Charleston has approved its own gun law, and the mayor has publicly opposed the bill lawmakers debated throughout the current legislative session.

Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell says the issue really isn't guns, but the ability of cities to set their own laws.

"We don't have any gun laws that are contrary to state law, but our needs are different than Charleston. And that's the whole point the legislature misses each and every year," says Mayor Newell. "Charleston has a different problem than we do, and they should do different things to protect their city."

Recreational facilities affected by the law include places such as Parkersburg City and Southwood Parks, and even sports venues owned by cities.

Charleston Mayor Danny Jones plans to fight the new law.

West Virginia Senate President Jeff Kessler Wednesday issued a statement saying the intent of the law is to create uniform statewide firearms laws.

The statement goes on to say it is unfair to make cities throughout West Virginia choose between citizens second amendment rights and improving living conditions.

Charleston, Huntington and two other cities have been part of the home rule pilot program, for which Parkersburg is planning to apply.

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