Sunday, March 06, 2016

WV: Legislature Overrides Governor Tomblin's Veto. Constitutional Carry Becomes Law

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. 

This year, the Constitutional carry bill was passed early enough for the legislature to vote on a veto override if necessary.  Governor Tomblin received the  Constitutional carry bill on 26 February.  He waited to the last possible day to veto it, 3 March.  The House of Delegates overrode his veto on 4 March, and the Senate completed the override on 5 March.  From

Completed Legislation
S Completed legislative action 03/05/16
S Communicated to House 03/05/16
S Senate passed as result of veto (Roll No. 297) 03/05/16
S Senate reconsidered action (voice vote) 03/05/16
S House Message received 03/05/16
S Vetoed by Governor 3/3/16 - Senate Journal 03/05/16
H Communicated to Senate 03/04/16
H House passed over veto (Roll No. 355) 03/04/16
H Motion to consider bill notwithstanding the objections of the Governor 03/04/16
H Vetoed by Governor 3/3/16 - House Journal 03/04/16
H Vetoed by Governor 3/3/16

According to the language in the bill, it will go into effect 90 days from the time of passage.  From

House Bill 4145
By Delegates blair, azinger, butler, cadle, eldridge, householder, marcum, overington, r. phillips, sobonya and upson
[Passed February 24, 2016; in effect ninety days from passage.]

That means that Constitutional carry will be mostly restored to West Virginia sometime about the end of May, 2016. 

The override votes were close to those that came with the passage of the bill.  In the House, 64 to 33.  In the Senate, 23 to 11.  In West Virginia, a simple majority was all that was needed for the override. Second Amendment supporters fought long and hard to restore Constitutional carry to West Virginia.  Governor Tomblin vetoed bills twice, and finally had to be overridden. 

West Virginia becomes the seventh state to restore Constitutional carry, or a reasonable facsimile thereof.  Vermont has had Constitutional carry since statehood in 1791, pre-dating the ratification of the Bill of Rights by eight months. 

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.

Constitutional carry was a dream for Second Amendment supporters only 15 years ago.  Only Vermont had managed to hold onto the unencumbered right to bear arms openly or concealed without a permit.  Seven other states have since joined Vermont's ranks.  The year is still young.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.  Link to Gun Watch

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