Senate
House
Joint
Bill Status
WV Code
Audits/ Reports
Educational
Contact
home
home
WEST VIRGINIA CODE
‹ Back  |  print page Print
WVC 61- CHAPTER 61. CRIMES AND THEIR PUNISHMENT.
WVC 61 - 7 - ARTICLE 7. DANGEROUS WEAPONS. WVC 61-7-1 §61-7-1. Legislative findings.
The Legislature finds that the overwhelming support of the citizens of West Virginia for article three, section twenty-two of the constitution of this state, commonly known as the "Right to Keep and Bear Arms Amendment", combined with the obligation of the state to reasonably regulate the right of persons to keep and bear arms for self-defense requires the reenactment of this article.

WVC 61 - 7 - 2 §61-7-2. Definitions.

     As used in this article, unless the context otherwise requires:

     (1) "Blackjack" means a short bludgeon consisting, at the striking end, of an encased piece of lead or some other heavy substance and, at the handle end, a strap or springy shaft which increases the force of impact when a person or object is struck. The term "blackjack" shall include, but not be limited to, a billy, billy club, sand club, sandbag or slapjack.

     (2) "Gravity knife" means any knife that has a blade released from the handle by the force of gravity or the application of centrifugal force and when so released is locked in place by means of a button, spring, lever or other locking or catching device.

     (3) "Knife" means an instrument, intended to be used or readily adaptable to be used as a weapon, consisting of a sharp- edged or sharp-pointed blade, usually made of steel, attached to a handle which is capable of inflicting cutting, stabbing or tearing wounds. The term "knife" shall include, but not be limited to, any dagger, dirk, poniard or stiletto, with a blade over three and one- half inches in length, any switchblade knife or gravity knife and any other instrument capable of inflicting cutting, stabbing or tearing wounds. A pocket knife with a blade three and one-half inches or less in length, a hunting or fishing knife carried for hunting, fishing, sports or other recreational uses or a knife designed for use as a tool or household implement shall not be included within the term "knife" as defined herein unless such knife is knowingly used or intended to be used to produce serious bodily injury or death.

     (4) "Switchblade knife" means any knife having a spring- operated blade which opens automatically upon pressure being applied to a button, catch or other releasing device in its handle.

     (5) "Nunchuka" means a flailing instrument consisting of two or more rigid parts, connected by a chain, cable, rope or other nonrigid, flexible or springy material, constructed in such a manner as to allow the rigid parts to swing freely so that one rigid part may be used as a handle and the other rigid part may be used as the striking end.

     (6) "Metallic or false knuckles" means a set of finger rings attached to a transverse piece to be worn over the front of the hand for use as a weapon and constructed in such a manner that, when striking another person with the fist or closed hand, considerable physical damage may be inflicted upon the person struck. The terms "metallic or false knuckles" shall include any such instrument without reference to the metal or other substance or substances from which the metallic or false knuckles are made.

     (7) "Pistol" means a short firearm having a chamber which is integral with the barrel, designed to be aimed and fired by the use of a single hand.

     (8) "Revolver" means a short firearm having a cylinder of several chambers that are brought successively into line with the barrel to be discharged, designed to be aimed and fired by the use of a single hand.

     (9) "Deadly weapon" means an instrument which is designed to be used to produce serious bodily injury or death or is readily adaptable to such use. The term "deadly weapon" shall include, but not be limited to, the instruments defined in subdivisions (1) through (8), inclusive, of this section or other deadly weapons of like kind or character which may be easily concealed on or about the person. For the purposes of section one-a, article five, chapter eighteen-a of this code and section eleven-a, article seven of this chapter, in addition to the definition of "knife" set forth in subdivision (3) of this section, the term "deadly weapon" also includes any instrument included within the definition of "knife" with a blade of three and one-half inches or less in length. Additionally, for the purposes of section one-a, article five, chapter eighteen-a of this code and section eleven-a, article seven of this chapter, the term "deadly weapon" includes explosive, chemical, biological and radiological materials. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the term "deadly weapon" does not include any item or material owned by the school or county board, intended for curricular use, and used by the student at the time of the alleged offense solely for curricular purposes.

     (10) "Concealed" means hidden from ordinary observation so as to prevent disclosure or recognition. A deadly weapon is concealed when it is carried on or about the person in such a manner that another person in the ordinary course of events would not be placed on notice that the deadly weapon was being carried. For purposes of concealed handgun licensees, a licensee shall be deemed to be carrying on or about his or her person while in or on a motor vehicle if the firearm is located in a storage area in or on the motor vehicle.

     (11) "Firearm" means any weapon which will expel a projectile by action of an explosion.

     (12) "Controlled substance" has the same meaning as is ascribed to that term in subsection (d), section one hundred one, article one, chapter sixty-a of this code.

     (13) "Drug" has the same meaning as is ascribed to that term in subsection (1), section one hundred one, article one, chapter sixty-a of this code. WVC 61-7-3 §61-7-3. Carrying deadly weapon without license or other authorization; penalties.
(a) Any person who carries a concealed deadly weapon, without a state license or other lawful authorization established under the provisions of this code, 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 and may be imprisoned in the county jail for not more than twelve months for the first offense; but upon conviction of a second or subsequent offense, he or she shall be guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in the penitentiary not less than one nor more than five years and fined not less than one thousand dollars nor more than five thousand dollars.

(b) It shall be the duty of the prosecuting attorney in all cases to ascertain whether or not the charge made by the grand jury is a first offense or is a second or subsequent offense and, if it shall be a second or subsequent offense, it shall be so stated in the indictment returned, and the prosecuting attorney shall introduce the record evidence before the trial court of such second or subsequent offense and shall not be permitted to use discretion in introducing evidence to prove the same on the trial.

WVC 61 - 7 - 4 §61-7-4. License to carry deadly weapons; how obtained.

     (a) Except as provided in subsection (h) of this section, 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 $75, of which $15 of that amount shall be deposited in the Courthouse Facilities Improvement Fund created by section six, article twenty-six, chapter twenty-nine of this code. Concealed weapons permits may only be issued for pistols or revolvers. Each applicant shall file with the sheriff a complete application, as prepared by the Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police, in writing, duly verified, which sets forth only the following licensing requirements:

     (1) The applicant's full name, date of birth, Social Security number, a description of the applicant's physical features, the applicant's place of birth, the applicant's country of citizenship and, if the applicant is not a United States citizen, any alien or admission number issued by the United States Bureau of Immigration and Customs enforcement, and any basis, if applicable, for an exception to the prohibitions of 18 U. S. C. §922(g)(5)(B);

     (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 and has a valid driver's license or other state-issued photo identification showing the residence;

     (3) That the applicant is twenty-one years of age or older: Provided, That any individual who is less than twenty-one years of age and possesses a properly issued concealed weapons license as of the effective date of this article shall be licensed to maintain his or her concealed weapons license notwithstanding the provisions of this section requiring new applicants to be at least twenty-one years of age: Provided, however, That upon a showing of any applicant who is eighteen years of age or older that he or she is required to carry a concealed weapon as a condition for employment, and presents satisfactory proof to the sheriff thereof, then he or she shall be issued a license upon meeting all other conditions of this section. Upon discontinuance of employment that requires the concealed weapons license, if the individual issued the license is not yet twenty-one years of age, then the individual issued the license is no longer eligible and must return his or her license to the issuing sheriff;

     (4) That the applicant is not addicted to alcohol, a controlled substance or a drug and is not an unlawful user thereof as evidenced by either of the following within the three years immediately prior to the application:

     (A) Residential or court-ordered treatment for alcoholism or alcohol detoxification or drug treatment; or

     (B) Two or more convictions for driving while under the influence or driving while impaired;

     (5) That the applicant has not been convicted of a felony unless the conviction has been expunged or set aside or the applicant's civil rights have been restored or the applicant has been unconditionally pardoned for the offense;

     (6) That the applicant has not been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of violence other than an offense set forth in subsection (7) of this section in the five years immediately preceding the application.

     (7) That the applicant has not been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence as defined in 18 U. S. C. §921(a)(33), or a misdemeanor offense of assault or battery either under the provisions of section twenty-eight, article two of this chapter or the provisions of subsection (b) or (c), section nine, article two of this chapter in which the victim was a current or former spouse, current or former sexual or intimate partner, person with whom the defendant cohabits or has cohabited, a parent or guardian, the defendant's child or ward or a member of the defendant's household at the time of the offense, or a misdemeanor offense with similar essential elements in a jurisdiction other than this state;

     (8) That the applicant is not under indictment for a felony offense or is not currently serving a sentence of confinement, parole, probation or other court-ordered supervision imposed by a court of any jurisdiction or is the subject of an emergency or temporary domestic violence protective order or is the subject of a final domestic violence protective order entered by a court of any jurisdiction;

     (9) That the applicant has not been adjudicated to be mentally incompetent or involuntarily committed to a mental institution. If the applicant has been adjudicated mentally incompetent or involuntarily committed the applicant must provide a court order reflecting that the applicant is no longer under such disability and the applicant's right to possess or receive a firearm has been restored.

     (10) That the applicant has qualified under the minimum requirements set forth in subsection (d) of this section for handling and firing the weapon: Provided, That this requirement shall be waived in the case of a renewal applicant who has previously qualified; and

     (11) That the applicant authorizes the sheriff of the county, or his or her designee, to conduct an investigation relative to the information contained in the application.

     (b) For both initial and renewal applications, the sheriff shall conduct an investigation including a nationwide criminal background check consisting of inquiries of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, the West Virginia criminal history record responses and the National Interstate Identification Index and shall review the information received in order to verify that the information required in subsection (a) of this section is true and correct.

     (c) Sixty dollars of the application fee and any fees for replacement of lost or stolen licenses received by the sheriff shall be deposited by the sheriff into a Concealed Weapons License Administration Fund. The fund shall be administered by the sheriff and shall take the form of an interest-bearing account with any interest earned to be compounded to the fund. Any funds deposited in this Concealed Weapon License Administration Fund are to be expended by the sheriff to pay for the costs associated with issuing concealed weapons licenses. Any surplus in the fund on hand at the end of each fiscal year may be expended for other law-enforcement purposes or operating needs of the sheriff's office, as the sheriff may consider appropriate.

     (d) All persons applying for a license must complete a training course in handling and firing a handgun. The successful completion of any of the following courses fulfills this training requirement:

     (1) Any official National Rifle Association handgun safety or training course;

     (2) Any handgun 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 handgun training school utilizing instructors duly certified by the institution;

     (3) Any handgun training or safety course or class conducted by a handgun instructor certified as such by the state or by the National Rifle Association;

     (4) Any handgun training or safety course or class conducted by any branch of the United States Military, Reserve or National Guard or proof of other handgun qualification received while serving in any branch of the United States Military, Reserve or National Guard.

     A photocopy of a certificate of completion of any of the courses or classes or an affidavit from the instructor, school, club, organization or group that conducted or taught said course or class attesting to the successful completion of the course or class by the applicant or a copy of any document which shows successful completion of the course or class shall constitute evidence of qualification under this section.

     (e) All concealed weapons license applications must be notarized by a notary public duly licensed under article four, chapter twenty-nine of this code. Falsification of any portion of the application constitutes false swearing and is punishable under the provisions of section two, article five, chapter sixty-one of this code.

     (f) The sheriff shall issue a license unless he or she determines that the application is incomplete, that it contains statements that are materially false or incorrect or that applicant otherwise does not meet the requirements set forth in this section. The sheriff shall issue, reissue or deny the license within forty-five days after the application is filed if all required background checks authorized by this section are completed.

     (g) Before any approved license shall be issued or become effective, the applicant shall pay to the sheriff a fee in the amount of $25 which the sheriff shall forward to the Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police within thirty days of receipt. The license shall be valid for five years throughout the state, unless sooner revoked.

     (h) Each license shall contain the full name and address of the licensee and a space upon which the signature of the licensee shall be signed with pen and ink. The issuing sheriff shall sign and attach his or her seal to all license cards. The sheriff shall provide to each new licensee a duplicate license card, in size similar to other state identification cards and licenses, suitable for carrying in a wallet, and the license card is considered a license for the purposes of this section.

     (i) The Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police shall prepare uniform applications for licenses and license cards showing that the license has been granted and shall do any other act required to be done to protect the state and see to the enforcement of this section.

     (j) If an application is denied, the specific reasons for the denial shall be stated by the sheriff denying the application. Any person denied a license may file, in the circuit court of the county in which the application was made, a petition seeking review of the denial. The petition shall be filed within thirty days of the denial. The court shall then determine whether the applicant is entitled to the issuance of a license under the criteria set forth in this section. The applicant may be represented by counsel, but in no case may the court be required to appoint counsel for an applicant. The final order of the court shall include the court's findings of fact and conclusions of law. If the final order upholds the denial, the applicant may file an appeal in accordance with the Rules of Appellate Procedure of the Supreme Court of Appeals.

     (k) If 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 $5 by filing a notarized statement with the sheriff indicating that the license has been lost or destroyed.

     (l) Whenever any person after applying for and receiving a concealed handgun license moves from the address named in the application to another county within the state, the license remains valid for the remainder of the five years: Provided, That the licensee within twenty days thereafter notifies the sheriff in the new county of residence in writing of the old and new addresses.

     (m) The sheriff shall, immediately after the license is granted as aforesaid, furnish the Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police a certified copy of the approved application. The sheriff shall furnish to the Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police at any time so requested a certified list of all licenses issued in the county. The Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police shall maintain a registry of all persons who have been issued concealed weapons licenses.

     (n) Except when subject to an exception under section six, article seven of this chapter, all licensees must carry with them a state-issued photo identification card with the concealed weapons license whenever the licensee is carrying a concealed weapon. Any licensee who, in violation of this subsection, fails to have in his or her possession a state-issued photo identification card and a current concealed weapons license while carrying a concealed weapon is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $50 or more than $200 for each offense.

     (o) The sheriff shall deny any application or revoke any existing license upon determination that any of the licensing application requirements established in this section have been violated by the licensee.

     (p) A person who is engaged in the receipt, review or in the issuance or revocation of a concealed weapon license does not incur any civil liability as the result of the lawful performance of his or her duties under this article.

     (q) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, with respect to application by a former law-enforcement officer honorably retired from agencies governed by article fourteen, chapter seven of this code; article fourteen, chapter eight of this code; article two, chapter fifteen of this code; and article seven, chapter twenty of this code, an honorably retired officer is exempt from payment of fees and costs as otherwise required by this section. All other application and background check requirements set forth in this shall be applicable to these applicants.

     (r) Except as restricted or prohibited by the provisions of this article or as otherwise prohibited by law, the issuance of a concealed weapon permit issued in accordance with the provisions of this section authorizes the holder of the permit to carry a concealed pistol or revolver on the lands or waters of this state. WVC 61-7-5 §61-7-5. Revocation of license.
A license to carry a deadly weapon shall be deemed revoked at such time as the person licensed becomes unable to meet the criteria for initial licensure set forth in section four of this article. Any person licensed under the provisions of this article shall immediately surrender his or her license to the issuing sheriff upon becoming ineligible for continued licensure.

WVC 61 - 7 - 6 §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. WVC 61 - 7 - 6 A §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. WVC 61 - 7 - 7 §61-7-7. Persons prohibited from possessing firearms; classifications; reinstatement of rights to possess; offenses; penalties.

     (a) Except as provided in this section, no person shall possess a firearm, as such is defined in section two of this article, who:

     (1) Has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;

     (2) Is habitually addicted to alcohol;

     (3) Is an unlawful user of or habitually addicted to any controlled substance;

     (4) Has been adjudicated to be mentally incompetent or who has been involuntarily committed to a mental institution pursuant to the provisions of chapter twenty-seven of this code or in similar law of another jurisdiction: Provided, That once an individual has been adjudicated as a mental defective or involuntarily committed to a mental institution, he or she shall be duly notified that they are to immediately surrender any firearms in their ownership or possession: Provided, however, That the mental hygiene commissioner or circuit judge shall first make a determination of the appropriate public or private individual or entity to act as conservator for the surrendered property;

     (5) Is an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States;

     (6) Has been discharged from the armed forces under dishonorable conditions;

     (7) Is subject to a domestic violence protective order that:

     (A) Was issued after a hearing of which such person received actual notice and at which such person had an opportunity to participate;

     (B) Restrains such person from harassing, stalking or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child; and

     (C)(i) Includes a finding that such person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or child; or

     (ii) By its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury; or

     (8) Has been convicted of a misdemeanor offense of assault or battery either under the provisions of section twenty-eight, article two of this chapter or the provisions of subsection (b) or (c), section nine of said article or a federal or state statute with the same essential elements in which the victim was a current or former spouse, current or former sexual or intimate partner, person with whom the defendant has a child in common, person with whom the defendant cohabits or has cohabited, a parent or guardian, the defendant's child or ward or a member of the defendant's household at the time of the offense or has been convicted in any court of any jurisdiction of a comparable misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

     Any person who violates the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 or confined in the county jail for not less than ninety days nor more than one year, or both.

     (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, any person:

     (1) Who has been convicted in this state or any other jurisdiction of a felony crime of violence against the person of another or of a felony sexual offense; or

     (2) Who has been convicted in this state or any other jurisdiction of a felony controlled substance offense involving a Schedule I controlled substance other than marijuana, a Schedule II or a Schedule III controlled substance as such are defined in sections two hundred four, two hundred five and two hundred six, article two, chapter sixty-a of this code and who possesses a firearm as such is defined in section two of this article shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in a state correctional facility for not more than five years or fined not more than $5,000, or both. The provisions of subsection (c) of this section shall not apply to persons convicted of offenses referred to in this subsection or to persons convicted of a violation of this subsection.

     (c) Any person prohibited from possessing a firearm by the provisions of subsection (a) of this section may petition the circuit court of the county in which he or she resides to regain the ability to possess a firearm and if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the person is competent and capable of exercising the responsibility concomitant with the possession of a firearm, the court may enter an order allowing the person to possess a firearm if such possession would not violate any federal law: Provided, That a person prohibited from possessing a firearm by the provisions of subdivision (4), subsection (a) of this section may petition to regain the ability to possess a firearm in accordance with the provisions of section five, article seven-a of this chapter.

     (d) Any person who has been convicted of an offense which disqualifies him or her from possessing a firearm by virtue of a criminal conviction whose conviction was expunged or set aside or who subsequent thereto receives an unconditional pardon for said offense shall not be prohibited from possessing a firearm by the provisions of the section. WVC 61-7-8 §61-7-8. Possession of deadly weapons by minors; prohibitions.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this article to the contrary, a person under the age of eighteen years who is not married or otherwise emancipated shall not possess or carry concealed or openly any deadly weapon: Provided, That a minor may possess a firearm upon premises owned by said minor or his family or on the premises of another with the permission of his or her parent or guardian and in the case of property other than his or her own or that of his family, with the permission of the owner or lessee of such property: Provided, however, That nothing in this section shall prohibit a minor from possessing a firearm while hunting in a lawful manner or while traveling from a place where he or she may lawfully possess a deadly weapon, to a hunting site, and returning to a place where he or she may lawfully possess such weapon.

A violation of this section by a person under the age of eighteen years shall subject the child to the jurisdiction of the circuit court under the provisions of article five, chapter forty-nine of this code, and such minor may be proceeded against in the same manner as if he or she had committed an act which if committed by an adult would be a crime, and may be adjudicated delinquent.

WVC 61-7-9 §61-7-9. Possession of machine guns, penalties.
It shall be unlawful for any person to carry, transport, or have in his possession, any machine gun, submachine gun, or any other fully automatic weapon unless he or she has fully complied with applicable federal statutes and all applicable rules and regulations of the secretary of the treasury of the United States relating to such firearms.

Any person who violates the provision of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than one thousand dollars nor more than five thousand dollars, or shall be confined in the county jail for not less than ninety days, or more than one year, or both.

WVC 61 - 7 - 10 §61-7-10. Display of deadly weapons for sale or hire; sale to prohibited persons; penalties.
(a) A person may not publicly display and offer for rent or sale, or, where the person is other than a natural person, knowingly permit an employee thereof to publicly display and offer for rent or sale, to any passersby on any street, road or alley, any deadly weapon, machine gun, submachine gun or other fully automatic weapon, any rifle, shotgun or ammunition for same.

(b) Any person who violates the provisions of subsections (a) or (c) of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $5,000 or shall be confined in the county jail for not more than one year, or both fined and confined, except that where the person violating the provisions of said subsections is other than a natural person, such person shall be fined not more than $10,000.

(c) A person may not knowingly sell, rent, give or lend, or, where the person is other than a natural person, knowingly permit an employee thereof to knowingly sell, rent, give or lend, any deadly weapon other than a firearm to a person prohibited from possessing a deadly weapon other than a firearm by any provision of this article.

(d) a person may not knowingly sell, rent, give or lend, or where the person is other than a natural person, knowingly permit an employee thereof to knowingly sell, rent give or lend a firearm or ammunition to a person prohibited by any provision of this article or the provisions of 18 U.S.C. §922.

(e) Any person who violates any of the provisions of subsection (d) of this section is guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $100,000 imprisoned in a state correctional facility for a definite term of years of not less than three years nor more than ten years, or both fined and imprisoned, except that where the person committing an offense punishable under this subsection is other than a natural person, such person shall be fined not more than $250,000.

(f) Any person who knowingly solicits, persuades, encourages or entices a licensed dealer or private seller of firearms or ammunition to transfer a firearm or ammunition under circumstances which the person knows would violate the laws of this state or the United States is guilty of a felony. Any person who willfully procures another to engage in conduct prohibited by this subsection shall be punished as a principal. This subsection does not apply to a law-enforcement officer acting in his or her official capacity. Any person who violates the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $5,000, imprisoned in a state correctional facility for a definite term or not less than one year nor more than five years, or both fined and imprisoned.

WVC 61-7-11 §61-7-11. Brandishing deadly weapons; threatening or causing breach of the peace; criminal penalties.
It shall be unlawful for any person armed with a firearm or other deadly weapon, whether licensed to carry the same or not, to carry, brandish or use such weapon in a way or manner to cause, or threaten, a breach of the peace. Any person violating this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than fifty nor more than one thousand dollars, or shall be confined in the county jail not less than ninety days nor more than one year, or both.

WVC 61 - 7 - 11 A §61-7-11a. Possessing deadly weapons on premises of educational                         facilities; reports by school principals; suspension                         of driver's license; possessing deadly weapons on                         premises housing courts of law and in offices of                         family law master.

     (a) The Legislature hereby finds that the safety and welfare of the citizens of this state are inextricably dependent upon assurances of safety for children attending and persons employed by schools in this state and for persons employed by the judicial department of this state. It is for the purpose of providing assurances of safety that subsections (b), (g) and (h) of this section are enacted as a reasonable regulation of the manner in which citizens may exercise the rights accorded to them pursuant to section twenty-two, article three of the Constitution of the State of West Virginia.

     (b) (1) It is unlawful for a person to possess a firearm or other deadly weapon on a school bus as defined in section one, article one, chapter seventeen-a of this code, or in or on a public or private primary or secondary education building, structure, facility or grounds including a vocational education building, structure, facility or grounds where secondary vocational education programs are conducted or at a school-sponsored function.

     (2) This subsection does not apply to:

     (A) A law-enforcement officer acting in his or her official capacity;

     (B) A person specifically authorized by the board of education of the county or principal of the school where the property is located to conduct programs with valid educational purposes;

     (C) A person who, as otherwise permitted by the provisions of this article, possesses an unloaded firearm or deadly weapon in a motor vehicle or leaves an unloaded firearm or deadly weapon in a locked motor vehicle;

     (D) Programs or raffles conducted with the approval of the county board of education or school which include the display of unloaded firearms;

     (E) The official mascot of West Virginia University, commonly known as the Mountaineer, acting in his or her official capacity; or

     (F) The official mascot of Parkersburg South High School, commonly known as the Patriot, acting in his or her official capacity.

     (3) A person violating this subsection is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in a state correctional facility for a definite term of years of not less than two years nor more than ten years, or fined not more than $5,000, or both.

     (c) It is the duty of the principal of each school subject to the authority of the State Board of Education to report a violation of subsection (b) of this section discovered by the principal to the State Superintendent of Schools within seventy-two hours after the violation occurs. The State Board of Education shall keep and maintain these reports and may prescribe rules establishing policy and procedures for the making and delivery of the reports as required by this subsection. In addition, it is the duty of the principal of each school subject to the authority of the State Board of Education to report a violation of subsection (b) of this section discovered by the principal to the appropriate local office of the Division of Public Safety within seventy-two hours after the violation occurs.

     (d) In addition to the methods of disposition provided by article five, chapter forty-nine of this code, a court which adjudicates a person who is fourteen years of age or older as delinquent for a violation of subsection (b) of this section may, in its discretion, order the Division of Motor Vehicles to suspend a driver's license or instruction permit issued to the person for a period of time as the court considers appropriate, not to extend beyond the person's nineteenth birthday. Where the person has not been issued a driver's license or instruction permit by this state, a court may order the Division of Motor Vehicles to deny the person's application for a license or permit for a period of time as the court considers appropriate, not to extend beyond the person's nineteenth birthday. A suspension ordered by the court pursuant to this subsection is effective upon the date of entry of the order. Where the court orders the suspension of a driver's license or instruction permit pursuant to this subsection, the court shall confiscate any driver's license or instruction permit in the adjudicated person's possession and forward to the Division of Motor Vehicles.

     (e) (1) If a person eighteen years of age or older is convicted of violating subsection (b) of this section, and if the person does not act to appeal the conviction within the time periods described in subdivision (2) of this subsection, the person's license or privilege to operate a motor vehicle in this state shall be revoked in accordance with the provisions of this section.

     (2) The clerk of the court in which the person is convicted as described in subdivision (1) of this subsection shall forward to the commissioner a transcript of the judgment of conviction. If the conviction is the judgment of a magistrate court, the magistrate court clerk shall forward the transcript when the person convicted has not requested an appeal within twenty days of the sentencing for the conviction. If the conviction is the judgment of a circuit court, the circuit clerk shall forward a transcript of the judgment of conviction when the person convicted has not filed a notice of intent to file a petition for appeal or writ of error within thirty days after the judgment was entered.

     (3) If, upon examination of the transcript of the judgment of conviction, the commissioner determines that the person was convicted as described in subdivision (1) of this subsection, the commissioner shall make and enter an order revoking the person's license or privilege to operate a motor vehicle in this state for a period of one year or, in the event the person is a student enrolled in a secondary school, for a period of one year or until the person's twentieth birthday, whichever is the greater period. The order shall contain the reasons for the revocation and the revocation period. The order of suspension shall advise the person that because of the receipt of the court's transcript, a presumption exists that the person named in the order of suspension is the same person named in the transcript. The commissioner may grant an administrative hearing which substantially complies with the requirements of the provisions of section two, article five-a, chapter seventeen-c of this code upon a preliminary showing that a possibility exists that the person named in the notice of conviction is not the same person whose license is being suspended. The request for hearing shall be made within ten days after receipt of a copy of the order of suspension. The sole purpose of this hearing is for the person requesting the hearing to present evidence that he or she is not the person named in the notice. If the commissioner grants an administrative hearing, the commissioner shall stay the license suspension pending the commissioner's order resulting from the hearing.

     (4) For the purposes of this subsection, a person is convicted when such person enters a plea of guilty or is found guilty by a court or jury.

     (f) (1) It is unlawful for a parent, guardian or custodian of a person less than eighteen years of age who knows that the person is in violation of subsection (b) of this section or has reasonable cause to believe that the person's violation of subsection (b) is imminent, to fail to immediately report his or her knowledge or belief to the appropriate school or law-enforcement officials.

     (2) A person violating this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $1,000, or shall be confined in jail not more than one year, or both.

     (g) (1) It is unlawful for a person to possess a firearm or other deadly weapon on the premises of a court of law, including family courts.

     (2) This subsection does not apply to:

     (A) A law-enforcement officer acting in his or her official capacity; and

     (B) A person exempted from the provisions of this subsection by order of record entered by a court with jurisdiction over the premises or offices.

     (3) A person violating this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $1,000, or shall be confined in jail not more than one year, or both.

     (h) (1) It is unlawful for a person to possess a firearm or other deadly weapon on the premises of a court of law, including family courts, with the intent to commit a crime.

     (2) A person violating this subsection is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in a state correctional facility for a definite term of years of not less than two years nor more than ten years, or fined not more than $5,000, or both.

     (i) Nothing in this section may be construed to be in conflict with the provisions of federal law. WVC 61-7-12 §61-7-12. Wanton endangerment involving a firearm.
Any person who wantonly performs any act with a firearm which creates a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to another shall be guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in the penitentiary for a definite term of years of not less than one year nor more than five years, or, in the discretion of the court, confined in the county jail for not more than one year, or fined not less than two hundred fifty dollars nor more than two thousand five hundred dollars, or both.

For purposes of this section, the term "firearm" shall have the same meaning ascribed to such term as set forth in section two of this article.

WVC 61-7-13 §61-7-13.
Repealed.

Acts, 1990 Reg. Sess., Ch. 148.

WVC 61-7-14 §61-7-14. Right of certain persons to limit possession of firearms on premises.
Notwithstanding the provisions of this article, any owner, lessee or other person charged with the care, custody and control of real property may prohibit the carrying openly or concealed of any firearm or deadly weapon on property under his or her domain: Provided, That for purposes of this section "person" means an individual or any entity which may acquire title to real property.

Any person carrying or possessing a firearm or other deadly weapon on the property of another who refuses to temporarily relinquish possession of such firearm or other deadly weapon, upon being requested to do so, or to leave such premises, while in possession of such firearm or other deadly weapon, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or confined in the county jail not more than six months, or both: Provided, That the provisions of this section shall not apply to those persons set forth in subsections (3) through (6) of section six of this code while such persons are acting in an official capacity: Provided, however, That under no circumstances may any person possess or carry or cause the possession or carrying of any firearm or other deadly weapon on the premises of any primary or secondary educational facility in this state unless such person is a law-enforcement officer or he or she has the express written permission of the county school superintendent.

WVC 61-7-15 §61-7-15. Persons prohibited from committing violent crime while wearing body armor; penalties.
(a) A person who wears or is otherwise equipped with body armor while committing a felony offense, an element of which is force, the threat of force, physical harm to another or the use or presentment of a firearm or other deadly weapon, is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in a correctional facility for not less than two nor more than ten years or fined not more than ten thousand dollars, or both.

(b) As used in this section, "body armor" means a jacket, vest, or other similar apparel or device constructed to provide ballistic resistance to penetration and deformation and intended to protect the human torso against gunfire. The term may include, but is not limited to, apparel that incorporates inserts, or variations in construction of the ballistic panel over small areas of the torso, for the purpose of increasing the basic level of protection of the armor (whether ballistic or blunt trauma) on localized areas. Body armor may be constructed of Kevlar or other similar fabric and may be reinforced with other materials. Body armor may incorporate "threat" or "trauma" plates (which are inserts that fit into the vest that will stop more powerful rounds) or may, as "threat armor", incorporate hard panels.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2013 1st Special Session
The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.

This Web site is maintained by the West Virginia Legislature's Office of Reference & Information.  |  Terms of Use  |   Web Administrator   |   © 2014 West Virginia Legislature **