H. B. 2866
(By Delegates Hamilton, A. Evans, Andes, Ireland, Walker, Moye, Lynch, P. Smith, J. Nelson, Frich and Sponaugle)
[Passed April 12, 2013; in effect ninety days from passage.]
AN ACT to amend and reenact §20-2-58 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to the prohibited discharge of firearms in proximity to buildings, public roads and crowds; providing a limited and conditional exception to allow a resident of a dwelling house, and his or her authorized guest, to discharge a firearm in a lawful manner within five hundred feet of the dwelling house where the resident lives, subject to certain conditions; conditions giving rise to exception; increasing the distance between where a person is permitted to discharge a firearm in relation to a school or church; and establishing misdemeanor criminal penalties for violations.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §20-2-58 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2. WILDLIFE RESOURCES.
§20-2-58. Shooting across road or near building or crowd; penalty.
(a) In addition to any other prohibitions which may exist by law, it shall be unlawful for any person to shoot or discharge any firearms:
(1) Across or in any public road in this state, at any time;
(2) Within five hundred feet of any school or church; or
(3) Within five hundred feet of any dwelling house: Provided, That a person who is a resident of a dwelling house, and his or her authorized guest, may shoot or discharge a firearm in a lawful manner within five hundred feet of the dwelling house where the person lives, if the firearm is being discharged with the express or implied knowledge and consent of all residents of that dwelling house, and no other dwelling houses are located within five hundred feet of where the firearm is discharged; or
(4) On or near any park or other place where persons gather for purposes of pleasure.
(b) Any person violating this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than fifty dollars nor more than $500 or confined in jail for not more than one hundred days, or both fined and confined.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, any person operating a gun repair shop, licensed to do business in the State of West Virginia and duly licensed under applicable federal statutes, may be exempted from the prohibition established by this section and section twelve, article seven, chapter sixty-one of this code for the purpose of test firing a firearm. The director of the Division of Natural Resources shall prescribe such rules as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of the exemption under this section and section twelve, article seven, chapter sixty-one and shall ensure that any person residing in any dwelling home within five hundred feet of such gun repair shop be given an opportunity to protest the granting of such exemption.