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Enrolled Version - Final Version House Bill 4145 History

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WEST virginia legislature

2016 regular session

ENROLLED

Committee Substitute

for

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.]

AN ACT to repeal §20-2-6a of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; to amend and reenact §61-7-3, §61-7-4, §61-7-6, §61-7-7 and §61-7-11a of said code; and to amend said code by adding thereto three new sections, designated §61-7-4a and §61-7-15a and §61-7-17, all relating to the carrying of firearms and deadly weapons generally; establishing that criminal penalties for carrying a concealed deadly weapon without state license or other lawful authorization apply only to persons under twenty-one years of age and prohibited persons; requiring an applicant for a concealed weapon permit be a United States citizen or legal resident thereof, a resident of this state and of the county in which application is made; requiring training courses in handling and firing a handgun to include the actual live firing of ammunition; requiring certificates of completion of a training course which are submitted with license applications include the instructor’s name, signature and NRA or state instructor identification number; requiring that on or after January 1, 2017, all duplicate license cards issued by county sheriffs be uniform across all fifty-five counties and feature a photograph of the licensee; requiring State Police, in cooperation with the Sheriffs’ Bureau of Professional Standards, prepare uniform applications for licenses and license cards; entitling a person who pays fees for training or application after the effective date to a tax credit equal to the amount actually paid for training not to exceed $50, unless such training was provided for free or for less than $50, then such tax credit may be applied to the fees associated with the initial application; establishing a provisional license to carry concealed deadly weapons for persons at least eighteen years of age and less than twenty-one years of age; establishing provisional license application requirements and procedures; providing for exceptions as to prohibitions against carrying handguns concealed for persons at least eighteen years of age and fewer than twenty-one years of age; providing for any United States citizen or legal resident thereof at least twenty-one years of age and not otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm may carry a concealed deadly weapon without a license; creating felony offenses for any persons prohibited from possessing firearms who carry concealed firearms and providing for criminal penalties; providing that it shall not be unlawful to possess a firearm in or on a private primary or secondary education building, structure or facility when such institution has adopted written policies allowing for possession of firearms; exempting probation officers from prohibition against possessing firearms on premises of educational facilities; requiring a school principal to report certain violations to the State Police; creating felony offense for persons using or presenting a firearm while engaged in the commission of a felony and providing for criminal penalties; and providing for construction of article.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:


 That §20-2-6a of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be repealed; that §61-7-3, §61-7-4, §61-7-6, §61-7-7 and §61-7-11a of said code be amended and reenacted; and that said code be amended by adding thereto three new sections, designated §61-7-4a, §61-7-15a and §61-7-17, all to read as follows:

ARTICLE 7. DANGEROUS WEAPONS.


§61-7-3. Carrying a deadly weapon without provisional license or other authorization by persons under twenty-one years of age; penalties.

(a) Any person under twenty-one years of age and not otherwise prohibited from possessing firearms under section seven of this article who carries a concealed deadly weapon, without a state license or other lawful authorization established under the provisions of this code,  is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 and may be imprisoned in  jail for not more than twelve months for the first offense; but upon conviction of a second or subsequent offense, he or she  is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in t a state correctional facility not less than one nor more than five years and fined not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000.

(b)  The prosecuting attorney in all cases shall ascertain whether or not the charge made by the grand jury is a first offense or is a second or subsequent offense and, if it is a second or subsequent offense, it shall be so stated in the indictment returned, and the prosecuting attorney shall introduce the record evidence before the trial court of such second or subsequent offense and may not be permitted to use discretion in introducing evidence to prove the same on the trial.

§61-7-4. License to carry deadly weapons; how obtained.


(a) Except as provided in subsection (h) of this section, any person desiring to obtain a state license to carry a concealed deadly weapon shall apply to the sheriff of his or her county for the license, and pay to the sheriff, at the time of application, a fee of $75, of which $15 of that amount shall be deposited in the Courthouse Facilities Improvement Fund created by section six, article twenty-six, chapter twenty-nine of this code. Concealed weapons license may only be issued for pistols and revolvers. Each applicant shall file with the sheriff a complete application, as prepared by the Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police, in writing, duly verified, which sets forth only the following licensing requirements:

(1) The applicant's full name, date of birth, Social Security number, a description of the applicant's physical features, the applicant=s place of birth, the applicant=s country of citizenship and, if the applicant is not a United States citizen, any alien or admission number issued by the United States Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and any basis, if applicable, for an exception to the prohibitions of 18 U. S. C. '922(g)(5)(B);

(2) That, on the date the application is made, the applicant is a bona fide United States citizen or legal resident thereof and resident of this state and of the county in which the application is made and has a valid driver's license or other state-issued photo identification showing the residence;

(3) That the applicant is twenty-one years of age or older;

(4) That the applicant is not addicted to alcohol, a controlled substance or a drug and is not an unlawful user thereof as evidenced by either of the following within the three years immediately prior to the application:

(A) Residential or court-ordered treatment for alcoholism or alcohol detoxification or drug treatment; or

(B) Two or more convictions for driving while under the influence or driving while impaired;

(5) That the applicant has not been convicted of a felony unless the conviction has been expunged or set aside or the applicant=s civil rights have been restored or the applicant has been unconditionally pardoned for the offense;

(6) That the applicant has not been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of violence other than an offense set forth in subdivision (7) of this section in the five years immediately preceding the application;

(7) That the applicant has not been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence as defined in 18 U. S. C. '921(a)(33), or a misdemeanor offense of assault or battery either under  section twenty-eight, article two of this chapter or  subsection (b) or (c), section nine, article two of this chapter in which the victim was a current or former spouse, current or former sexual or intimate partner, person with whom the defendant cohabits or has cohabited, a parent or guardian, the defendant=s child or ward or a member of the defendant=s household at the time of the offense, or a misdemeanor offense with similar essential elements in a jurisdiction other than this state;

(8) That the applicant is not under indictment for a felony offense or is not currently serving a sentence of confinement, parole, probation or other court-ordered supervision imposed by a court of any jurisdiction or is the subject of an emergency or temporary domestic violence protective order or is the subject of a final domestic violence protective order entered by a court of any jurisdiction;

(9) That the applicant has not been adjudicated to be mentally incompetent or involuntarily committed to a mental institution. If the applicant has been adjudicated mentally incompetent or involuntarily committed the applicant must provide a court order reflecting that the applicant is no longer under such disability and the applicant=s right to possess or receive a firearm has been restored;

(10) That the applicant is not prohibited under the provisions of section seven of this article or federal law, including 18 U. S. C. '922(g) or (n), from receiving, possessing or transporting a firearm;

(11) That the applicant has qualified under the minimum requirements set forth in subsection (d) of this section for handling and firing the weapon: Provided, That this requirement shall be waived in the case of a renewal applicant who has previously qualified; and

(12) That the applicant authorizes the sheriff of the county, or his or her designee, to conduct an investigation relative to the information contained in the application.

(b) For both initial and renewal applications, the sheriff shall conduct an investigation including a nationwide criminal background check consisting of inquiries of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, the West Virginia criminal history record responses and the National Interstate Identification Index and shall review the information received in order to verify that the information required in subsection (a) of this section is true and correct. A license may not be issued unless the issuing sheriff has verified through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System that the information available to him or her does not indicate that receipt or possession of a firearm by the applicant would be in violation of the provisions of section seven of this article or federal law, including 18 U. S. C. '922(g) or (n).

(c) Sixty dollars of the application fee and any fees for replacement of lost or stolen licenses received by the sheriff shall be deposited by the sheriff into a concealed weapons license administration fund. The fund shall be administered by the sheriff and shall take the form of an interest-bearing account with any interest earned to be compounded to the fund. Any funds deposited in this concealed weapon license administration fund are to be expended by the sheriff to pay the costs associated with issuing concealed weapons licenses. Any surplus in the fund on hand at the end of each fiscal year may be expended for other law-enforcement purposes or operating needs of the sheriff=s office, as the sheriff considers appropriate.

(d) All persons applying for a license must complete a training course in handling and firing a handgun, which includes the actual live firing of ammunition by the applicant. The successful completion of any of the following courses fulfills this training requirement: Provided, That the completed course includes the actual live firing of ammunition by the applicant:

(1) Any official National Rifle Association handgun safety or training course;

(2) Any handgun safety or training course or class available to the general public offered by an official law-enforcement organization, community college, junior college, college or private or public institution or organization or handgun training school utilizing instructors certified by the institution;

(3) Any handgun training or safety course or class conducted by a handgun instructor certified as such by the state or by the National Rifle Association;

(4) Any handgun training or safety course or class conducted by any branch of the United States military, reserve or National Guard or proof of other handgun qualification received while serving in any branch of the United States military, reserve or National Guard.

A photocopy of a certificate of completion of any of the courses or classes or an affidavit from the instructor, school, club, organization or group that conducted or taught the course or class attesting to the successful completion of the course or class by the applicant or a copy of any document which shows successful completion of the course or class is evidence of qualification under this section and shall include the instructor’s name, signature and NRA or state instructor identification number, if applicable.

(e) All concealed weapons license applications must be notarized by a notary public duly licensed under article four, chapter twenty-nine of this code. Falsification of any portion of the application constitutes false swearing and is punishable under section two, article five, chapter sixty-one of this code.

(f) The sheriff shall issue a license unless he or she determines that the application is incomplete, that it contains statements that are materially false or incorrect or that applicant otherwise does not meet the requirements set forth in this section. The sheriff shall issue, reissue or deny the license within forty-five days after the application is filed if all required background checks authorized by this section are completed.

(g) Before any approved license is issued or is effective, the applicant shall pay to the sheriff a fee in the amount of $25 which the sheriff shall forward to the Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police within thirty days of receipt. The license is valid for five years throughout the state, unless sooner revoked.

(h) Each license shall contain the full name and address of the licensee and a space upon which the signature of the licensee shall be signed with pen and ink. The issuing sheriff shall sign and attach his or her seal to all license cards. The sheriff shall provide to each new licensee a duplicate license card, in size similar to other state identification cards and licenses, suitable for carrying in a wallet, and the license card is considered a license for the purposes of this section. All duplicate license cards issued on or after July 1, 2017, shall be uniform across all fifty-five counties in size, appearance and information and shall feature a photograph of the licensee.

(i) The Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police, in cooperation with the West Virginia Sheriffs’ Bureau of Professional Standards, shall prepare uniform applications for licenses and license cards showing that the license has been granted and shall do any other act required to be done to protect the state and see to the enforcement of this section.

(j) If an application is denied, the specific reasons for the denial shall be stated by the sheriff denying the application. Any person denied a license may file, in the circuit court of the county in which the application was made, a petition seeking review of the denial. The petition shall be filed within thirty days of the denial. The court shall then determine whether the applicant is entitled to the issuance of a license under the criteria set forth in this section. The applicant may be represented by counsel, but in no case is the court required to appoint counsel for an applicant. The final order of the court shall include the court's findings of fact and conclusions of law. If the final order upholds the denial, the applicant may file an appeal in accordance with the Rules of Appellate Procedure of the Supreme Court of Appeals. If the findings of fact and conclusions of law of the court fail to uphold the denial, the applicant may be entitled to reasonable costs and attorney=s fees, payable by the sheriff=s office which issued the denial.

(k) If a license is lost or destroyed, the person to whom the license was issued may obtain a duplicate or substitute license for a fee of $5 by filing a notarized statement with the sheriff indicating that the license has been lost or destroyed.

(l) Whenever any person after applying for and receiving a concealed  weapon license moves from the address named in the application to another county within the state, the license remains valid for the remainder of the five years unless the sheriff of the new county has determined that the person is no longer eligible for a concealed  weapon license under this article, and the sheriff shall issue a new license bearing the person=s new address and the original expiration date for a fee not to exceed $5: Provided, That the licensee, within twenty days thereafter, notifies the sheriff in the new county of residence in writing of the old and new addresses.

(m) The sheriff shall, immediately after the license is granted as aforesaid, furnish the Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police a certified copy of the approved application. The sheriff shall furnish to the Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police at any time so requested a certified list of all licenses issued in the county. The Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police shall maintain a registry of all persons who have been issued concealed weapons licenses.

(n) The sheriff shall deny any application or revoke any existing license upon determination that any of the licensing application requirements established in this section have been violated by the licensee.

(o) A person who is engaged in the receipt, review or in the issuance or revocation of a concealed weapon license does not incur any civil liability as the result of the lawful performance of his or her duties under this article.

(p) Notwithstanding  subsection (a) of this section, with respect to application by a former law-enforcement officer honorably retired from agencies governed by article fourteen, chapter seven of this code; article fourteen, chapter eight of this code; article two, chapter fifteen of this code; and article seven, chapter twenty of this code, an honorably retired officer is exempt from payment of fees and costs as otherwise required by this section. All other application and background check requirements set forth in this section are applicable to these applicants.

(q) Information collected under this section, including applications, supporting documents, permits, renewals or any other information that would identify an applicant for or holder of a concealed weapon license, is confidential: Provided: That this information may be disclosed to a law-enforcement agency or officer: (i) To determine the validity of a license; (ii) to assist in a criminal investigation or prosecution; or (iii) for other lawful law-enforcement purposes. A person who violates this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $50 or more than $200 for each offense.

(r) A person who pays fees for training or application pursuant to this article after the effective date of this section is entitled to a tax credit equal to the amount actually paid for training not to exceed $50:  Provided, That if such training was provided for free or for less than $50, then such tax credit may be applied to the fees associated with the initial application.

 (s) Except as restricted or prohibited by the provisions of this article or as otherwise prohibited by law, the issuance of a concealed weapon  license issued in accordance with the provisions of this section authorizes the holder of the  license to carry a concealed pistol or revolver on the lands or waters of this state.

§61-7-4a. Provisional license to carry deadly weapons; how obtained.


(a) Any person who is at least eighteen years of age and less than twenty-one years of age who desires to obtain a state license to carry a concealed deadly weapon shall apply to the sheriff of his or her county for a provisional license, and pay to the sheriff, at the time of application, a fee of $25, of which $5 of that amount shall be deposited in the Courthouse Facilities Improvement Fund created by section six, article twenty-six, chapter twenty-nine of this code. Provisional licenses may only be issued for pistols or revolvers. Each applicant shall file with the sheriff a complete application, as prepared by the Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police, in writing, duly verified, which sets forth only the following licensing requirements:

(1) The applicant's full name, date of birth, Social Security number, a description of the applicant's physical features, the applicant's place of birth, the applicant's country of citizenship and, if the applicant is not a United States citizen, any alien or admission number issued by the United States Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and any basis, if applicable, for an exception to the prohibitions of 18 U. S. C. §922(g)(5)(B);

(2) That, on the date the application is made, the applicant is a bona fide resident of this state and of the county in which the application is made and has a valid driver's license or other state-issued photo identification showing the residence;

(3) That the applicant is at least eighteen years of age and less than twenty-one years of age;

(4) That the applicant is not addicted to alcohol, a controlled substance or a drug and is not an unlawful user thereof as evidenced by either of the following within the three years immediately prior to the application:

(A) Residential or court-ordered treatment for alcoholism or alcohol detoxification or drug treatment; or

(B) Two or more convictions for driving while under the influence or driving while impaired;

(5) That the applicant has not been convicted of a felony unless the conviction has been expunged or set aside, or the applicant's civil rights have been restored or the applicant has been unconditionally pardoned for the offense;

(6) That the applicant has not been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of violence other than an offense set forth in subdivision (7) of this section within five years immediately preceding the application;

(7) That the applicant has not been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence as defined in 18 U. S. C. §921(a)(33), or a misdemeanor offense of assault or battery under either section twenty-eight, article two of this chapter or subsection (b) or (c), section nine, article two of this chapter in which the victim was a current or former spouse, current or former sexual or intimate partner, person with whom the defendant cohabits or has cohabited, a parent or guardian, the defendant's child or ward or a member of the defendant's household at the time of the offense, or a misdemeanor offense with similar essential elements in a jurisdiction other than this state;

(8) That the applicant is not under indictment for a felony offense or is not currently serving a sentence of confinement, parole, probation or other court-ordered supervision imposed by a court of any jurisdiction, or is the subject of an emergency or temporary domestic violence protective order or is the subject of a final domestic violence protective order entered by a court of any jurisdiction;

(9) That the applicant has not been adjudicated to be mentally incompetent or involuntarily committed to a mental institution. If the applicant has been adjudicated mentally incompetent or involuntarily committed, the applicant must provide a court order reflecting that the applicant is no longer under such disability and the applicant's right to possess or receive a firearm has been restored;

(10) That the applicant is not prohibited under section seven of this article or federal law, including 18 U. S. C. §922(g) or (n), from receiving, possessing or transporting a firearm;

(11) That the applicant has qualified under the minimum requirements set forth in subsection (d) of this section for handling and firing the weapon;

(12) That the applicant authorizes the sheriff of the county, or his or her designee, to conduct an investigation relative to the information contained in the application.

(b) For provisional license applications, the sheriff shall conduct an investigation including a nationwide criminal background check consisting of inquiries of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, the West Virginia criminal history record responses and the National Interstate Identification Index, and shall review the information received in order to verify that the information required in subsection (a) of this section is true and correct. A provisional license may not be issued unless the issuing sheriff has verified through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System that the information available does not indicate that receipt of or possession of a firearm by the applicant would be in violation of the provisions of section seven of this article or federal law, including 18 U. S. C. §922(g) or (n).

(c) Twenty dollars of the application fee and any fees for replacement of lost or stolen provisional licenses received by the sheriff shall be deposited by the sheriff into a concealed weapons license administration fund. The fund shall be administered by the sheriff and shall take the form of an interest-bearing account with any interest earned to be compounded to the fund. Any funds deposited in said fund are to be expended by the sheriff to pay the costs associated with issuing concealed weapons provisional licenses. Any surplus in the fund on hand at the end of each fiscal year may be expended for other law-enforcement purposes or operating needs of the sheriff's office, as the sheriff considers appropriate.

(d) All persons applying for a provisional license must complete a training course in handling and firing a handgun, which includes the actual live firing of ammunition by the applicant. The successful completion of any of the following courses fulfills this training requirement: Provided, That the completed course included the actual live firing of ammunition by the applicant:

(1) Any official National Rifle Association handgun safety or training course;

(2) Any handgun safety or training course or class available to the general public offered by an official law-enforcement organization, community college, junior college, college, or private or public institution, or organization or handgun training school utilizing instructors certified by the institution;

(3) Any handgun training or safety course or class conducted by a handgun instructor certified as such by the state or by the National Rifle Association;

(4) Any proof of current or former service in the United States armed forces, armed forces reserves or National Guard.

A photocopy of a certificate of completion of any of the courses or classes or an affidavit from the instructor, school, club, organization or group that conducted or taught the course or class attesting to the successful completion of the course or class by the applicant, or a copy of any document which shows successful completion of the course or class, is evidence of qualification under this section. Certificates, affidavits or other documents submitted to show completion of a course or class shall include instructor information and proof of instructor certification, including, if applicable, the instructor’s NRA instructor certification number.

 (e) All provisional license applications must be notarized by a notary public duly licensed under article four, chapter twenty-nine of this code. Falsification of any portion of the application constitutes false swearing and is punishable under section two, article five of this chapter.

(f) The sheriff shall issue a provisional license unless the sheriff determines that the application is incomplete, that it contains statements that are materially false or incorrect or that applicant otherwise does not meet the requirements set forth in this section. The sheriff shall issue, reissue or deny the license within forty-five days after the application is filed once all required background checks authorized by this section are completed.

(g) Before any approved license is issued or is effective, the applicant shall pay to the sheriff a fee in the amount of $15 which the sheriff shall forward to the Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police within thirty days of receipt. The provisional license is valid until the licensee turns twenty-one years of age, unless sooner revoked.

(h) Each provisional license shall contain the full name and address of the licensee and a space upon which the signature of the licensee shall be signed with pen and ink. The issuing sheriff shall sign and attach his or her seal to all provisional license cards. The sheriff shall provide to each new licensee a duplicate license card, in size similar to other state identification cards and licenses, suitable for carrying in a wallet, and the license card is considered a license for the purposes of this section. Duplicate license cards issued shall be uniform across all fifty-five counties in size, appearance and information and must feature a photograph of the licensee. The provisional license shall be readily distinguishable from a license issued pursuant to section four of this article and shall state: “NOT NICS EXEMPT. This license confers the same rights and privileges to carry a concealed pistol or revolver on the lands or waters of this state as a license issued pursuant to section four, article seven, chapter sixty-one of this code, except that this license does not satisfy the requirements of 18 U. S. C. §922(t)(3). A NICS check must be performed prior to purchase of a firearm from a federally licensed firearm dealer.”

(i) The Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police, in coordination with the West Virginia Sheriffs’ Bureau of Professional Standards, shall prepare uniform applications for provisional licenses and license cards showing that the license has been granted and shall perform any other act required to protect the state and to enforce of section.

(j) If an application is denied, the specific reasons for the denial shall be stated by the sheriff denying the application. Any person denied a provisional license may file, in the circuit court of the county in which the application was made, a petition seeking review of the denial. The petition shall be filed within thirty days of the denial. The court shall then determine whether the applicant is entitled to the issuance of a provisional license under the criteria set forth in this section. The applicant may be represented by counsel, but in no case is the court required to appoint counsel for an applicant. The final order of the court shall include the court's findings of fact and conclusions of law. If the final order upholds the denial, the applicant may file an appeal in accordance with the Rules of Appellate Procedure of the Supreme Court of Appeals. If the findings of fact and conclusions of law of the court fail to uphold the denial, the applicant may be entitled to reasonable costs and attorney's fees, payable by the sheriff's office which issued the denial.

(k) If a provisional license is lost or destroyed, the person to whom the license was issued may obtain a duplicate or substitute license for a fee of $5 by filing a notarized statement with the sheriff indicating that the license has been lost or destroyed.

(l) Whenever any person after applying for and receiving a provisional concealed weapon license moves from the address named in the application to another county within the state, the license remains valid until the licensee turns twenty-one years of age unless the sheriff of the new county has determined that the person is no longer eligible for a provisional concealed weapon license under this article, and the sheriff shall issue a new provisional license bearing the person's new address and the original expiration date for a fee not to exceed $5: Provided, That the licensee within twenty days thereafter notifies the sheriff in the new county of residence in writing of the old and new addresses.

(m) The sheriff shall, immediately after the provisional license is granted, furnish the Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police a certified copy of the approved application. The sheriff shall furnish to the Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police, at any time so requested, a certified list of all provisional licenses issued in the county. The Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police shall maintain a registry of all persons who have been issued provisional concealed weapon licenses.

(n) The sheriff shall deny any application or revoke any existing provisional license upon determination that any of the licensing application requirements established in this section have been violated by the licensee.

(o) A person who is engaged in the receipt, review or in the issuance or revocation of a concealed weapon provisional license does not incur any civil liability as the result of the lawful performance of his or her duties under this article.

(p) Information collected under this section, including applications, supporting documents, permits, renewals, or any other information that would identify an applicant for or holder of a concealed weapon provisional license, is confidential: Provided. That this information may be disclosed to a law enforcement agency or officer: (i) To determine the validity of a provisional license; (ii) to assist in a criminal investigation or prosecution; or (iii) for other lawful law-enforcement purposes. A person who violates this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $50 or more than $200 for each offense.

(q) Except as restricted or prohibited by the provisions of this article or as otherwise prohibited by law, the issuance of a provisional concealed weapon license issued in accordance with the provisions of this section authorizes the holder of the license to carry a concealed pistol or revolver on the lands or waters of this state.


§61-7-6. Exceptions as to prohibitions against carrying concealed handguns for persons at least eighteen years of age and fewer than twenty-one years of age; exemptions from licensing fees.

(a) The provisions in section three of this article do not apply to any person at least eighteen years of age and fewer than twenty-one years of age who is:

 (1) Carrying a deadly weapon upon his or her own premises;

 (2) Carrying a firearm, unloaded, from the place of purchase to his or her home, residence or place of business or to a place of repair and back to his or her home, residence or place of business; or

(3) Possessing a firearm while hunting in a lawful manner or while traveling from his or her home, residence or place of business to a hunting site and returning to his or her home, residence or place of business;

(4)  A member of a properly organized target-shooting club authorized by law to obtain firearms by purchase or requisition from this state or from the United States for the purpose of target practice from carrying any pistol, as defined in this article, unloaded, from his or her home, residence or place of business to a place of target practice and from any place of target practice back to his or her home, residence or place of business, for using any such weapon at a place of target practice in training and improving his or her skill in the use of the weapons;

(5)  A law-enforcement officer or law-enforcement official or chief executive as defined in section one, article twenty-nine, chapter thirty of this code;

(6)  An employee of the West Virginia Division of Corrections duly appointed pursuant to  section eleven-c, article one, chapter twenty-five of this code while the employee is on duty;

(7)  A member of the United States armed forces, reserve or National Guard;

(8)  A resident of another state who holds a valid permit or license to possess or carry a handgun issued by a state or a political subdivision subject to the provisions and limitations set forth in section six-a of this article;

(9)  A federal law-enforcement officer or federal police officer authorized to carry a weapon in the performance of the officer=s duty; and

(10)  A parole officer appointed pursuant to section fourteen, article twelve, chapter sixty-two of this code in the performance of his or her duties.

(b) The following judicial officers and prosecutors and staff are exempt from paying any application fees or licensure fees required under this article. However, they shall make application and satisfy all licensure and handgun safety and training requirements to obtain a license as set forth in section four of this article:

(1) Any justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia;

(2) Any circuit judge;

(3) Any retired justice or retired circuit judge designated senior status by the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia;

(4) Any family court judge;

(5) Any magistrate;

(6) Any prosecuting attorney;

(7) Any assistant prosecuting attorney; or

(8) Any duly appointed investigator employed by a prosecuting attorney.

§61-7-7. Persons prohibited from possessing firearms; classifications; right of nonprohibited persons over twenty-one years of age to carry concealed deadly weapons; offenses and penalties; reinstatement of rights to possess; offenses; penalties.


(a) Except as provided in this section, no person shall possess a firearm, as such is defined in section two of this article, who:

(1) Has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;

(2) Is habitually addicted to alcohol;

(3) Is an unlawful user of or habitually addicted to any controlled substance;

(4) Has been adjudicated to be mentally incompetent or who has been involuntarily committed to a mental institution pursuant to the provisions of chapter twenty-seven of this code or in similar law of another jurisdiction: Provided, That once an individual has been adjudicated as a mental defective or involuntarily committed to a mental institution, he or she shall be duly notified that they are to immediately surrender any firearms in their ownership or possession: Provided, however, That the mental hygiene commissioner or circuit judge shall first make a determination of the appropriate public or private individual or entity to act as conservator for the surrendered property;

(5) Is an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States;

(6) Has been discharged from the armed forces under dishonorable conditions;

(7) Is subject to a domestic violence protective order that:

(A) Was issued after a hearing of which such person received actual notice and at which such person had an opportunity to participate;

(B) Restrains such person from harassing, stalking or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child; and

(C)(i) Includes a finding that such person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or child; or

(ii) By its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury; or

(8) Has been convicted of a misdemeanor offense of assault or battery either under the provisions of section twenty-eight, article two of this chapter or the provisions of subsection (b) or (c), section nine of said article or a federal or state statute with the same essential elements in which the victim was a current or former spouse, current or former sexual or intimate partner, person with whom the defendant has a child in common, person with whom the defendant cohabits or has cohabited, a parent or guardian, the defendant's child or ward or a member of the defendant's household at the time of the offense or has been convicted in any court of any jurisdiction of a comparable misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

Any person who violates the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 or confined in the county jail for not less than ninety days nor more than one year, or both.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, any person:

(1) Who has been convicted in this state or any other jurisdiction of a felony crime of violence against the person of another or of a felony sexual offense; or

(2) Who has been convicted in this state or any other jurisdiction of a felony controlled substance offense involving a Schedule I controlled substance other than marijuana, a Schedule II or a Schedule III controlled substance as such are defined in sections two hundred four, two hundred five and two hundred six, article two, chapter sixty-a of this code and who possesses a firearm as such is defined in section two of this article shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in a state correctional facility for not more than five years or fined not more than $5,000, or both. The provisions of subsection (f) of this section shall not apply to persons convicted of offenses referred to in this subsection or to persons convicted of a violation of this subsection.

(c) Any person may carry a concealed deadly weapon without a license therefor who is:

(1) At least twenty-one years of age;

(2) A United States citizen or legal resident thereof;

(3) Not prohibited from possessing a firearm under the provisions of this section; and

(4) Not prohibited from possessing a firearm under the provisions of 18 U. S. C. §922(g) or (n).

(d) As a separate and additional offense to the offense provided for in subsection (a) of this section, and in addition to any other offenses outlined in this code, and except as provided by subsection (e) of this section, any person prohibited by subsection (a) of this section from possessing a firearm who carries a concealed firearm is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in a state correctional facility for not more than three years or fined not more than $5,000, or both.

(e) As a separate and additional offense to the offense described in subsection (b) of this section, and in additional to any other offenses outlined in this code, any person prohibited by subsection (b) of this section from possessing a firearm who carries a concealed firearm is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in a state correctional facility for not more than ten years or fined not more than $10,000, or both. 

(f) Any person prohibited from possessing a firearm by the provisions of subsection (a) of this section may petition the circuit court of the county in which he or she resides to regain the ability to possess a firearm and if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the person is competent and capable of exercising the responsibility concomitant with the possession of a firearm, the court may enter an order allowing the person to possess a firearm if such possession would not violate any federal law: Provided, That a person prohibited from possessing a firearm by the provisions of subdivision (4), subsection (a) of this section may petition to regain the ability to possess a firearm in accordance with the provisions of section five, article seven-a of this chapter.

(g) Any person who has been convicted of an offense which disqualifies him or her from possessing a firearm by virtue of a criminal conviction whose conviction was expunged or set aside or who subsequent thereto receives an unconditional pardon for said offense shall not be prohibited from possessing a firearm by the provisions of the section.

§61-7-11a. Possessing deadly weapons on premises of educational facilities; reports by school principals; suspension of driver=s license; possessing deadly weapons on premises housing courts of law and family law courts.


(a) The Legislature finds that the safety and welfare of the citizens of this state are inextricably dependent upon assurances of safety for children attending and persons employed by schools in this state and for persons employed by the judicial department of this state. It is for the purpose of providing assurances of safety that subsections (b), (g) and (h) of this section are enacted as a reasonable regulation of the manner in which citizens may exercise the rights accorded to them pursuant to section twenty-two, article three of the Constitution of the State of West Virginia.

(b) (1) It is unlawful for a person to possess a firearm or other deadly weapon on a school bus as defined in section one, article one, chapter seventeen-a of this code, or in or on a public  primary or secondary education building, structure, facility or grounds including a vocational education building, structure, facility or grounds where secondary vocational education programs are conducted or at a school-sponsored function, or in or on a private primary or secondary education building, structure or facility: Provided, That it shall not be unlawful to possesses a firearm or other deadly weapon on or in a private primary or secondary education building, structure or facility when such institution has adopted written policies allowing for possession of firearms on or in the institution’s buildings, structures or facilities.  

(2) This subsection does not apply to:

(A) A law-enforcement officer employed by a federal, state, county or municipal law- enforcement agency;

(B) Any probation officer appointed pursuant to section five, article twelve, chapter sixty-two or chapter forty-nine of this code in the performance of his or her duties;

(C) A retired law-enforcement officer who:

(i) Is employed by a state, county or municipal law-enforcement agency;

(ii) Is covered for liability purposes by his or her employer;

(iii) Is authorized by a county board of education and the school principal to serve as security for a school;

(iv) Meets all the requirements to carry a firearm as a qualified retired law-enforcement officer under the Law-Enforcement Officer Safety Act of 2004, as amended, pursuant to 18 U. S. C. §926C(c); and

(v) Meets all of the requirements for handling and using a firearm established by his or her employer, and has qualified with his or her firearm to those requirements;

(D) A person specifically authorized by the board of Education of the county or principal of the school where the property is located to conduct programs with valid educational purposes;

(E) A person who, as otherwise permitted by the provisions of this article, possesses an unloaded firearm or deadly weapon in a motor vehicle or leaves an unloaded firearm or deadly weapon in a locked motor vehicle;

(F) Programs or raffles conducted with the approval of the county board of education or school which include the display of unloaded firearms;

(G) The official mascot of West Virginia University, commonly known as the Mountaineer, acting in his or her official capacity; or

(H) The official mascot of Parkersburg South High School, commonly known as the Patriot, acting in his or her official capacity.

(3) A person violating this subsection is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in a state correctional facility for a definite term of years of not less than two years nor more than ten years, or fined not more than $5,000, or both fined and imprisoned.

(c) A school principal subject to the authority of the State Board of Education who discovers a violation of subsection (b) of this section shall report the violation as soon as possible to:

(1) The State Superintendent of Schools. The State Board of Education shall keep and maintain these reports and may prescribe rules establishing policy and procedures for making and delivering the reports as required by this subsection; and

(2) The appropriate local office of the State Police, county sheriff or municipal police agency.

(d) In addition to the methods of disposition provided by article five, chapter forty-nine of this code, a court which adjudicates a person who is fourteen years of age or older as delinquent for a violation of subsection (b) of this section may order the Division of Motor Vehicles to suspend a driver's license or instruction permit issued to the person for a period of time as the court considers appropriate, not to extend beyond the person's nineteenth birthday. If the person has not been issued a driver's license or instruction permit by this state, a court may order the Division of Motor Vehicles to deny the person's application for a license or permit for a period of time as the court considers appropriate, not to extend beyond the person's nineteenth birthday. A suspension ordered by the court pursuant to this subsection is effective upon the date of entry of the order. Where the court orders the suspension of a driver's license or instruction permit pursuant to this subsection, the court shall confiscate any driver's license or instruction permit in the adjudicated person's possession and forward to the Division of Motor Vehicles.

(e)(1) If a person eighteen years of age or older is convicted of violating subsection (b) of this section, and if the person does not act to appeal the conviction within the time periods described in subdivision (2) of this subsection, the person's license or privilege to operate a motor vehicle in this state shall be revoked in accordance with the provisions of this section.

(2) The clerk of the court in which the person is convicted as described in subdivision (1) of this subsection shall forward to the commissioner a transcript of the judgment of conviction. If the conviction is the judgment of a magistrate court, the magistrate court clerk shall forward the transcript when the person convicted has not requested an appeal within twenty days of the sentencing for the conviction. If the conviction is the judgment of a circuit court, the circuit clerk shall forward a transcript of the judgment of conviction when the person convicted has not filed a notice of intent to file a petition for appeal or writ of error within thirty days after the judgment was entered.

(3) If, upon examination of the transcript of the judgment of conviction, the commissioner determines that the person was convicted as described in subdivision (1) of this subsection, the commissioner shall make and enter an order revoking the person's license or privilege to operate a motor vehicle in this state for a period of one year or, in the event the person is a student enrolled in a secondary school, for a period of one year or until the person's twentieth birthday, whichever is the greater period. The order shall contain the reasons for the revocation and the revocation period. The order of suspension shall advise the person that because of the receipt of the court's transcript, a presumption exists that the person named in the order of suspension is the same person named in the transcript. The commissioner may grant an administrative hearing which substantially complies with the requirements of the provisions of section two, article five-a, chapter seventeen-c of this code upon a preliminary showing that a possibility exists that the person named in the notice of conviction is not the same person whose license is being suspended. The request for hearing shall be made within ten days after receipt of a copy of the order of suspension. The sole purpose of this hearing is for the person requesting the hearing to present evidence that he or she is not the person named in the notice. If the commissioner grants an administrative hearing, the commissioner shall stay the license suspension pending the commissioner's order resulting from the hearing.

(4) For the purposes of this subsection, a person is convicted when he or she enters a plea of guilty or is found guilty by a court or jury.

(f)(1) It is unlawful for a parent, guardian or custodian of a person less than eighteen years of age who knows that the person is in violation of subsection (b) of this section or has reasonable cause to believe that the person's violation of subsection (b) is imminent, to fail to immediately report his or her knowledge or belief to the appropriate school or law-enforcement officials.

(2) A person violating this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $1,000, or shall be confined in jail not more than one year, or both fined and confined.

(g)(1) It is unlawful for a person to possess a firearm or other deadly weapon on the premises of a court of law, including family courts.

(2) This subsection does not apply to:

(A) A law-enforcement officer acting in his or her official capacity; and

(B) A person exempted from the provisions of this subsection by order of record entered by a court with jurisdiction over the premises or offices.

(3) A person violating this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $1,000, or shall be confined in jail not more than one year, or both fined and confined.

(h)(1) It is unlawful for a person to possess a firearm or other deadly weapon on the premises of a court of law, including family courts, with the intent to commit a crime.

(2) A person violating this subsection is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in a state correctional facility for a definite term of years of not less than two years nor more than ten years, or fined not more than $5,000, or both fined and imprisoned.

(i) Nothing in this section may be construed to be in conflict with the provisions of federal law.

§61-7-15a.  Use or presentation of a firearm during commission of a felony; penalties. 


As a separate and distinct offense, and in addition to any and all other offenses provided for in this code, any person who, while engaged in the commission of a felony, uses or presents a firearm shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be imprisoned in a state correctional facility for not more than ten years.


§61-7-17. Construction of article.


Nothing in this article should be construed to abrogate or modify statutory provisions and common law decisions related to defense of self or others.

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