SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 58
(By Senators Laird, Edgell, Beach, Cookman, Facemire, Green, McCabe, Prezioso, Snyder, Williams, M. Hall, Nohe and Walters)
[Originating in the Committee on Natural Resources]
Requesting the Joint Committee on Government and Finance study the laws pertaining to the use of firearms for hunting and recreational shooting enthusiasts.
Whereas, 247,000 hunters in West Virginia generate over $552,000 annually in economic benefit; and
Whereas, Hunters support wildlife management activities on eighty-one wildlife management areas and eight state forests accounting for more than 400,000 acres and more than one million acres of national forest lands; and
Whereas, There are twenty-six public shooting ranges on wildlife management areas and recreational shooting enthusiasts currently may use them without any fee or hunting license; and
Whereas, The wildlife management is funded with excise taxes generated from the purchase of firearms and ammunition under the Pittman-Robertson Act; and
Whereas, The State of West Virginia desires to encourage and increase the number of hunters and shooting enthusiasts to continue its rich hunting heritage and to financially support the wildlife management areas; and
Whereas, State laws do not require shooting enthusiasts to have a valid hunting license or shooting range permit and therefore their purchase of firearms and ammunition cannot be added to the state’s rightful proportion of the excise taxes; and
Whereas, State laws that promote and support recreational shooting and the purchase of firearms and ammunition have a positive impact on hunting opportunities in the state; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance is hereby requested to study the laws pertaining to the use of firearms for hunting and recreational shooting enthusiasts; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance report to the regular session of the Legislature, 2014, on its findings, conclusions and recommendations, together with drafts of any legislation necessary to effectuate its recommendations; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the expenses necessary to conduct this study, to prepare a report and to draft necessary legislation be paid from legislative appropriations to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.