Senate Bill No. 369
(Senators Unger, Kessler (Mr. President), D. Hall, Cookman, Cann, Laird, Beach, Fitzsimmons, Jenkins and Williams, original sponsors)
[Passed April 13, 2013; in effect ninety days from passage.]
AN ACT to amend and reenact §61-7-6 and §61-7-6a of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to exemptions and exceptions for West Virginia conceal and carry handgun license requirements; allowing a resident of another state to carry a handgun in West Virginia if the nonresident person holds a valid permit or license to possess or carry a handgun from another state when certain conditions are met; establishing a precondition that West Virginia residents with a West Virginia-issued conceal and carry permit must be authorized to carry a concealed handgun in that other state; removing or modifying other concealed handgun reciprocity requirements; prescribing methods of verification of reciprocal conceal and carry handgun rights between West Virginia and another state; clarifying or modifying reciprocity requirements and responsibilities of the Attorney General and the State Police; exempting judicial officers, magistrates, prosecutors, assistant prosecutors and investigators employed by prosecutors staff from paying handgun conceal and carry license fees when applying for a conceal and carry permit in this state; requiring the judicial officers, magistrates, prosecutors, assistant prosecutors and investigators employed by prosecutors to satisfy all other licensing requirements and possess a conceal and carry license before carrying a concealed handgun in this state on and after July 1, 2013; removing exemption from remaining conceal and carry licensing requirements for judicial officers, prosecutors and prosecutor investigators as of July 1, 2013; and amending provisions of bill consistent with other legislative action.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §61-7-6 and §61-7-6a of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 7. DANGEROUS WEAPONS.
§61-7-6. Exceptions as to prohibitions against carrying concealed handguns; exemptions from licensing fees.
(a) The licensure provisions set forth in this article do not apply to:
(1) Any person:
(A) Carrying a deadly weapon upon his or her own premises;
(B) 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
(C) 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;
(2) Any person who is 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;
(3) Any law-enforcement officer or law-enforcement official as defined in section one, article twenty-nine, chapter thirty of this code;
(4) Any employee of the West Virginia Division of Corrections duly appointed pursuant to the provisions of section eleven-c, article one, chapter twenty-five of this code while the employee is on duty;
(5) Any member of the armed forces of the United States or the militia of this state while the member is on duty;
(6) Any 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;
(7) Any federal law-enforcement officer or federal police officer authorized to carry a weapon in the performance of the officer’s duty;
(8) Any Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreation Authority Ranger while the ranger is on duty; and
(9) Any parole officer appointed pursuant to section fourteen, article twelve, chapter sixty-two of this code in the performance of their duties.
(b) On and after July 1, 2013, the following judicial officers and prosecutors and staff shall be exempted from paying any application fees or licensure fees required under this article. However, on and after that same date, they shall be required to make application and satisfy all licensure and handgun safety and training requirements set forth in section four of this article before carrying a concealed handgun in this state:
(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.
§61-7-6a. Reciprocity and recognition; out-of-state concealed handgun permits.
(a) A valid out-of-state permit or license to possess or carry a handgun is valid in this state for the carrying of a concealed handgun, if the following conditions are met:
(1) The permit or license holder is twenty-one years of age or older;
(2) The permit or license is in his or her immediate possession;
(3) The permit or license holder is not a resident of the State of West Virginia; and
(4) The Attorney General has been notified by the Governor of the other state that the other state allows residents of West Virginia who are licensed in West Virginia to carry a concealed handgun to carry a concealed handgun in that state or the Attorney General has entered into a written reciprocity agreement with the appropriate official of the other state whereby the state agrees to honor West Virginia concealed handgun licenses in return for same treatment in this state.
(b) A holder of a valid permit or license from another state who is authorized to carry a concealed handgun in this state pursuant to provisions of this section is subject to the same laws and restrictions with respect to carrying a concealed handgun as a resident of West Virginia who is so permitted and must carry the concealed handgun in compliance with the laws of this state.
(c) A license or permit from another state is not valid in this state if the holder is or becomes prohibited by law from possessing a firearm.
(d) The West Virginia Attorney General shall seek to obtain recognition of West Virginia concealed handgun licenses and enter into and execute reciprocity agreements on behalf of the State of West Virginia with states for the recognition of concealed handgun permits issued pursuant to this article. (e) The West Virginia State Police shall maintain a registry of states with which the State of West Virginia has entered into reciprocity agreements or which recognize West Virginia concealed handgun licenses on the criminal information network and make the registry available to law-enforcement officers for investigative purposes.
(f) Every twelve months after the effective date of this section, the West Virginia Attorney General shall make written inquiry of the concealed handgun licensing or permitting authorities in each other state as to: (i) Whether a West Virginia resident may carry a concealed handgun in their state based upon having a valid West Virginia concealed handgun permit; and (ii) whether a West Virginia resident may carry a concealed handgun in that state based upon having a valid West Virginia concealed handgun permit, pursuant to the laws of that state or by the execution of a valid reciprocity agreement between the states.
(g) The West Virginia State Police shall make available to the public a list of states which have entered into reciprocity agreements with the State of West Virginia or that allow residents of West Virginia who are licensed in West Virginia to carry a concealed handgun to carry a concealed handgun in that state.