Senate Bill No. 170
(By Senators Ball, Mitchell, Kessler, Ross and Hunter)
[Introduced January 21, 2000; referred to the Committee
on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section seven, article seven, chapter
sixty-one of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine
hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to making
possession of a firearm by a convicted felon a felony
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section seven, 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.
§61-7-7. Persons prohibited from possession of deadly weapons.
Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, no person who: (1) Has been convicted of a felony in this state
or in any other jurisdiction; (2) has been discharged under less
than honorable conditions from the armed forces of the United
States; (3) has been adjudicated as a mental incompetent or has
been committed involuntarily to a mental institution; (4) is an
alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States; or (5) is
addicted to alcohol, a controlled substance or a drug, or is an
unlawful user thereof shall have in his or her possession any
firearm or other deadly weapon: Provided, That any person
prohibited from possessing a firearm or other deadly weapon by
the provisions of this section may petition the circuit court of
the county in which he or she resides and if the court finds by
clear and convincing evidence that
such the person is competent
and capable of exercising the responsibility concomitant with the
possession of a firearm or other deadly weapon the court may
enter an order allowing such the person to possess such a weapon
if such it would not violate any federal statute.
Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall
be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be
fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than one
thousand dollars or confined in the county jail for not less than ninety days nor more than one year, or both: Provided, That any
person who violates this provision by virtue of having previously
been convicted of a felony in this state or in any other
jurisdiction and possessing a firearm, shall be guilty of a
felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than
five hundred dollars nor more than two thousand dollars or
imprisoned in a state correctional facility for not less than one
year nor more than five years, or both fined and imprisoned.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to make possession of a
firearm by a convicted felon a felony offense, punishable by a
fine of $100 to $2,000 or imprisonment for 1 to 5 years, or both.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.