H. B. 2336
(By Delegates Love (By Request) and Riggs)
[Introduced February 2, 1995; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section four, article seven, chapter
sixty-one of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine
hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to license to carry
deadly weapons; application; minimum requirements; fees.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section four, article seven, chapter sixty-one of the
code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 7. DANGEROUS WEAPONS.
§61-7-4. License to carry deadly weapons; how obtained.
(a) 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 shall pay to the sheriff at the
time of application, a fee of twenty dollars. The applicant
shall file with the sheriff a written application on a form
prepared by the state tax commissioner, duly verified, which sets
forth the following:
(1) That the applicant is a citizen of the United States of
America or lawfully resides in the United States of America;
(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;
(3) That the applicant is eighteen 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
(5) That the applicant has not been convicted of a felony or
of an act of violence involving the misuse of a deadly weapon;
(6) That the applicant is not under indictment for a felony
nor has he or she been adjudicated to be mentally incompetent;
(7) That the applicant desires to carry a deadly weapon for
the defense of self, family, home or state, or other lawful purpose;
(8) That in case of a person applying for a license to carry
a concealed pistol or revolver, the applicant is physically and
mentally competent to carry the deadly weapon;
(9) That in the case of a person applying for a license to
carry a concealed pistol or revolver, the applicant has qualified
under the minimum requirements set forth in subsection (b) of
this section for handling and firing the firearms: Provided,
That the sheriff shall waive this requirement in the case of a
renewal applicant who has previously qualified;
(10) That the applicant authorizes the sheriff of the
county, or his or her designee, to conduct an investigation
relative only to that information contained in the application
and the sheriff is hereby required to conduct the investigation
which shall verify that the information contained in the
application is true and accurate.
(b) The minimum requirements for handling and firing a
revolver or pistol are:
(1) Successful completion of any official national rifle
association firearms safety or training course;
(2) Successful completion of any firearms 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 firearms training school, utilizing instructors
currently certified by the national rifle association; or
(3) Successful completion of any firearms training or safety
course or class conducted by a firearms instructor certified as
such by the state or by the national rifle association.
The following shall constitute evidence of qualification
under this section: (A) A photocopy of a certificate of
completion of any of the courses or classes; (B) 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
(C) a copy of any document which shows successful completion of
the course or class.
(c) The sheriff shall issue or deny the license within
thirty days after the application is filed. If it appears that
the purpose of the person to carry the weapon is defense of self, family, home or state, or other lawful purpose, and if the
information in the application is found to be true and accurate,
the sheriff shall issue the license.
(d) If an application is approved, the sheriff shall require
that before any license be issued or become effective, the
applicant pay to the sheriff a fee of fifty dollars. Any license
shall be valid for five years, unless sooner revoked.
(e) In the event an application is denied, the specific
reasons for the denial shall be stated by the sheriff denying the
application. Any person arbitrarily or capriciously denied a
license by a sheriff may file, in the circuit court of the county
in which the application was made, a petition in mandamus seeking
performance by the sheriff of his or her ministerial duty.
(f) In the event 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 ten dollars by filing a notarized
statement with the sheriff indicating that the license has been
lost or destroyed.
(g) Any amounts collected by the sheriff pursuant to this
section shall be deposited in a separate account of the county general fund and used by the sheriff for the expenses of
providing the services herein described. Any surplus funds that
remain in this separate account on the last day of the fiscal
year, and have not been expended for the purposes herein
described shall revert to the county general fund.
(h) The sheriff shall, immediately after the license is
granted as aforesaid, furnish the superintendent of the division
of public safety a certified copy of the license.
(i) The tax commissioner shall prescribe the form of all
licenses, and duplicates or substitutes therefore, and all
certifications required or permitted pursuant to the provisions
of this section.
(j) No person who is engaged in the receipt, review or in
the issuance of the license may incur any civil liability as the
result of the lawful performance of his or her duties under this
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to remove the division of
natural resources from any responsibility in concealed weapons
permitting and would reassign the responsibility to the sheriff
of the county in which the application is made. In 1992, 3,328
adults participated in the Hunter Education Program. Twenty-three percent, or 777 of the total adults attending, took
the course to become eligible to apply for a permit to carry a
concealed weapon. In some instances, admission to classes was
refused to hunters due to overloading because of the persons
wanting to carry a concealed weapon.
This section has been extensively rewritten; therefore,
strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.