The West Virginia Senate on Saturday voted 23-11 to override Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s veto of House Bill 4145 [text], allowing civilians 21 and over to carry concealed weapons without a permit. The bill will now become law after the West Virginia House of Representatives voted 64-33 to override the veto. The bill amends the state’s current concealed weapon statute by removing the permit and training program requirements to carry a concealed weapon. The permit process had also included a background check and a gun safety class, but the new law continues to bar those 18-21 years of age from concealing a weapon. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey expressed confidence that the legislation “will not impact public safety.” Tomblin had said [WSAZ report] that he vetoed [JURIST report] the bill in the interest of officers’ safety.
Gun control [JURIST backgrounder] and the Second Amendment continue to be controversial national topics, and gun awareness has risen in the wake of recent shootings across the nation. Last month Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signed [JURIST report] gun safety measures into law that will prevent domestic abusers and certain types of criminals from owning and carrying guns. In January US President Barack Obama announced executive actions [JURIST report] on gun control requiring those in the business of selling firearms, including those selling firearms at gun shows, to be licensed and background checked. In December the US Court of Appeals for the District of Colombia Circuit vacated [JURIST report] a lower court ruling that found that a DC gun law requiring a concealed carry permit outside of the home may violate the constitution.