(Freedom.news) It was a major advance for citizens’ rights and a ringing endorsement of the Second Amendment.
Lawmakers in West Virginia overturned Democratic Gov. Ray Tomblin’s veto last weekend in a bipartisan effort to enact the concealed carry of handguns without first having to obtain permission from state government, i.e., no permit required.
Beginning June 5, the Washington Free Beacon reported, anyone aged 21 years or older who can otherwise legally possess a firearm will be allowed to carry one concealed. The state has long allowed open carry of firearms without a permit but now West Virginia becomes one of eight other states that allow what gun rights groups have termed “constitutional carry.”
In addition, perhaps recognizing that West Virginians could be required to serve in the military at a younger age, the law also creates a provisional permitting process for citizens between the ages of 18 and 20 who want to carry a concealed firearm within state boundaries. Those individuals had previously been excluded altogether from the permitting process.
As the WFB reported further:
West Virginia’s move to permitless carry marks the continuation of a national trend that began in 2003. Before then, only Vermont allowed law-abiding adults to carry concealed firearms without a permit. The pace accelerated over the last five years, with seven states adopting the policy.
Concealed carry laws vary from state to state, but most adhere to one of three basic structures. The most popular, which is in effect in 34 states, is commonly referred to as a “shall-issue” structure, where applicants must be issued a permit if they pass a background check along with whatever training and identification requirements are set by the state.
The most restrictive type of concealed carry, which is in effect in just eight states, is the “may issue” structure. Applicants can still be denied a permit even after meeting all of the state’s requirements. These states typically do not issue many concealed carry permits to citizens.
The third type is the “constitutional carry,” which has only been adopted by eight states now that West Virginia became the latest to do so. However, constitutional carry is trending higher as more state legislatures around the country consider it.
The West Virginia Citizens Defense League, which helped write that state’s law, applauded the bipartisan vote to override the governor’s veto.
“We’re extremely pleased that the legislature stood with West Virginia gun owners, showed their trust in lawful gun owners, and overrode the veto of Governor Tomblin,” Art Thomm, the group’s vice president and head lobbyist, told the Washington Free Beacon. “It’s certainly a great day for West Virginia gun owners.”
“Self-defense is a fundamental right that must be respected,” added Chris Cox, head of the NRA’s lobbying arm, in a statement. “Law-abiding West Virginians are now free to choose the method of self-defense that best suits their needs. The NRA and our five million members are pleased that the legislature voted in support of West Virginians’ Second Amendment freedoms.”
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