WEST virginia Legislature
2017 regular session
to the Committee on the Judiciary
A BILL to amend and reenact §7-4-1 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend said code by adding thereto a new section, designated §30-29-12, all relating to West Virginia officials carrying concealed firearm nationwide as provided in the federal Law-Enforcement Officers Safety Act, 18 U. S. C. §926B; providing statutory authority necessary to give prosecuting attorneys and assistant prosecuting attorneys the option to carry firearms pursuant to that federal act upon completion of required training and annual background check; granting prosecuting attorneys and assistant prosecuting attorneys arrest powers under certain circumstances; providing that law-enforcement agencies are neither prohibited from nor required to permit an officer to carry his or her service weapon off duty; and requiring West Virginia law-enforcement agencies to offer access to training and certification for honorably retired officers to be permitted to carry a concealed firearm nationwide as a qualified retired law-enforcement officer as provided in the federal Law-Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §7-4-1 of the
Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that
said code be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §30-29-12,
all to read as follows:
CHAPTER 7. COUNTY COMMISSIONS AND OFFICERS.
ARTICLE 4. PROSECUTING ATTORNEY, REWARDS AND LEGAL ADVICE.
§7-4-1. Duties of prosecuting attorney; further duties upon request of Attorney General.
It shall be the duty of The prosecuting
attorney to shall attend to the criminal business of the state in
the county in which he or she is elected and qualified, and when he
the prosecuting attorney has information of the violation of any penal
law committed within such the county, he the
prosecuting attorney shall institute and prosecute all necessary and proper
proceedings against the offender, and may in such case issue or cause to be
issued a summons for any witness he may deem the prosecuting attorney
considers material. Every public officer shall give him the
prosecuting attorney information of the violation of any penal law
committed within his or her county. It shall also be the duty of
The prosecuting attorney to shall also attend to civil suits in such
the county in which the state, or any department, commission or board
thereof, is interested, and to advise, attend to, bring, prosecute or defend,
as the case may be, all matters, actions, suits and proceedings in which such
county or any county board of education is interested.
(b) (1) In furtherance of the prosecuting attorney’s duty to prosecute criminal offenses committed in the county to which they have been assigned, the prosecuting attorney and assistant prosecuting attorneys under his or her supervision shall have the authority to arrest any person committing a violation of the criminal laws of the State of West Virginia, the United States or a violation of Rule 42 of the West Virginia Rules of Criminal Procedure which occur in the county courthouse and other buildings where court proceedings are held in which the prosecutor or assistant prosecutor is appearing before the court in a criminal matter and in the presence of the prosecuting attorney or assistant prosecuting attorney.
(2) For purposes of subdivision (1) of this subsection, the arrest authority of a prosecuting attorney or assistant prosecuting attorney shall be consistent with that authority vested in a deputy sheriff, within the geographic limitations of subdivision (b)(1).
(3) Should a prosecuting attorney or assistant prosecuting attorney desire to carry a concealed firearm for self-defense purposes pursuant to the provisions of 18 U. S. C. §926B, the following criteria must be met:
(A) The prosecuting attorney’s office shall have a written policy authorizing the prosecuting attorney and his or her assistant prosecuting attorneys to carry a concealed firearm for self-defense purposes;
(B) There shall be in place in the office of the prosecuting attorney a requirement that the prosecuting attorney and assistant prosecuting attorneys must regularly qualify in the use of a firearm with standards therefore which are equal to or exceed those required of sheriff’s deputies in the county in which the prosecuting attorney was elected or appointed;
(C) The office of the prosecuting attorney shall issue a photographic identification and certification card which identify the prosecuting attorney or assistant prosecuting attorneys as law enforcement employees of the prosecuting attorney’s office pursuant to the provisions of section twelve, article twenty-nine, chapter thirty of this code.
(4) A prosecuting attorney’s office which institutes a policy pursuant to this subsection shall include in such policy a provision that precludes persons from participation in the concealed firearm program and persons subject to any disciplinary action which could result in loss of the authority conferred by this subsection to prosecute violations of criminal law and to arrest persons committing violations of State and Federal Criminal laws and West Virginia Rule of Criminal Procedure 42 and provisions which expressly preclude from participation persons prohibited by Federal or State law from possessing or receiving a firearm or those under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating or hallucinatory drug or substance.
(5) Any prosecuting attorney or assistant prosecuting attorney who elects to participate in the program authorized by the provisions of this subsection shall be responsible, at his or her expense, for a suitable firearm and ammunition.
(6) It is the intent of the legislation in enacting the amendment to this section during the 2017 Regular Session of the Legislature to authorizing a prosecuting attorney and assistant prosecuting attorneys wishing to do so to meet the requirements of the Federal Law-Enforcement Officer’s Safety Act, 18 U. S. C. §926B.
It shall be the duty of The prosecuting
attorney to shall keep his or her office open in the
charge of a responsible person during the hours when polls are open during
general, primary and special county-wide election days, and the prosecuting
attorney, or his the prosecuting attorney's assistant,
if any, shall be available for the purpose of advising election officials. It
shall be the further duty of The prosecuting attorney, when requested by
the Attorney General, to shall perform or to assist the
Attorney General in performing, in the county in which he the
prosecuting attorney is elected, any legal duties required to be performed
by the Attorney General, and which are not inconsistent with the duties of the
prosecuting attorney as the legal representative of such the
county. It shall also be the duty of The prosecuting attorney, when
requested by the Attorney General, to shall perform or to
assist the Attorney General in performing, any legal duties required to be
performed by the Attorney General, in any county other than that in which such
the prosecuting attorney is elected, and for the performance of any
such these duties in any county other than that in which such
the prosecuting attorney is elected he the prosecuting
attorney shall be paid his or her actual expenses.
Upon the request of the
Attorney General the prosecuting attorney shall make a written report of the
state and condition of the several causes in which the state is a party,
pending in his or her county, and upon any matters referred to
the prosecuting attorney by the Attorney General as provided by law.
CHAPTER 30. PROFESSIONS AND OCCUPATIONS.
ARTICLE 29. LAW-ENFORCEMENT TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION.
§30-29-12. Law-enforcement officers to receive identification and certification to carry weapons off duty.
(a) Every person employed by a West Virginia state, county or municipal agency who is a qualified law-enforcement officer within the meaning of 18 U. S. C. §926B shall receive an appropriate photo identification and certification of training required to carry a concealed firearm under the federal Law-Enforcement Officers Safety Act. 18 U. S. C. §926B. No currently employed officer may be charged a fee for the photo identification and certification. This subsection does not prohibit a law-enforcement agency from controlling the use of any department-owned weapon.
(b) When a qualified law-enforcement officer, within the meaning of 18 U. S. C. §926B retires from, or otherwise honorably ceases employment with, a West Virginia state, county or municipal agency, the agency shall provide, at no charge, an appropriate photo identification to show the former employee's status as an honorably separated or retired qualified retired law-enforcement officer within the meaning of 18 U. S. C. §926C. Every West Virginia state, county or municipal agency which conducts firearms qualification for current employees shall offer its honorably retired or separated former employees an opportunity to participate in such firearms qualification on an annual basis. The former employees shall provide at their own expense an appropriate firearm and ammunition and may be charged a fee not to exceed $25. Upon completion of the training and payment of any fee, the law-enforcement agency shall issue a new photo identification and certification which identifies the former employee as a “qualified retired law-enforcement officer” who has satisfied the annual training requirements of 18 U. S. C. §926C.
(c) A law-enforcement agency may, in its sole discretion, allow a person who honorably retired or separated from another agency as a qualified law-enforcement officer within the meaning of 18 U. S. C. §926B, the opportunity to participate in firearms qualification the agency provides its own former employees under subsection (b) of this section. A participant shall provide at their own expense an appropriate firearm and ammunition and may be charged a fee not to exceed $50. Upon completion of the training and payment of any fee, the law-enforcement agency shall issue a certification which states that the retiree satisfied the training requirements of 18 U. S. C. 926C.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.