On February 22, the West Virgina Senate voted 24-9 in support of legislation removing the requirement for a license to carry a concealed handgun in the state.
It is already legal to openly carry a handgun without a license in West Virginia.
On February 8, Breitbart News reported the West Virginia House passed the legislation — HB 4145 — by a margin of 68-31. And the NRA-ILA reports the bill will now be sent back to the House “for a concurrence vote.”
HB 4145 is sponsored by Rep. Saira Blair (R-Berkley), who recognizes the Second Amendment is a sufficient carry permit for state residents aged 21 and older. Similar legislation was passed in 2015 but was vetoed by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D) after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Bloomberg-funded Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense In America came out in opposition to the bill.
There is some question as to whether Manchin will be as vocal against the bill this year, since he has to begin revving up a re-election campaign to defend his Senate seat in 2018. Manchin will have to paint himself as a gun rights stalwart in order to maintain that seat. And doing that will mean explaining his push for gun control at the federal level following the Sandy Hook shooting.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.