West Virginia Group Wins Exercise of Second Amendment Rights for Some City Buildings

In West Virginia, the West Virgina Citizens Defense League (WVCDL) brought a suit against the City of Charleston for prohibiting the carry of concealed firearms in City buildings, even if the person carrying the firearm had a concealed carry permit. The lawsuit was filed in 2013. On March 25, 2014, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin signed into law Section 8-12-5a.  Section 8-12-5a regulates how Cities can reguatate the carry of firearms. From the Section:

Provided, That a municipality may not prohibit a person with a valid concealed handgun permit from carrying an otherwise lawfully possessed firearm into a municipally owned recreation facility and securely storing the firearm out of view and access to others during their time at the municipally owned recreation facility.

On 21 September, 2017, Judge James E. Stuckey ruled that keeping a firearm in a holster concealed on one’s person fit the requirement of securely storing the firearm out of view and access to others. From wvnetronews.com

That ruling, issued last week, finds that “individuals with a valid license to carry a concealed weapon” may legally take their gun into a municipal recreation center that is “not leased or used by the Board of Education for school activities, events or functions” if it is securely stored.

As per Stucky, secure storage is defined as “being on one’s person and in a holster, purse, or bag so long as the weapon remains attached to the individual, firmly adhered to one’s body and is not freely placed.”

Storage in a locked locker is also an option, but Judge Stucky found the City of Charleston is not required to provide locks and cases for as much.

That part of the case case is a win for the WVCDL.

Other parts of the ruling were  less reasonable. The Judge ruled that the West Virginia constitutional requirement for “a thorough and efficient system of free schools” includes a requirement for a “safe and secure environment” at schools, and that translates into a requirement for a ban on guns in schools.

That finding is against all common sense and history.  Guns were not banned from schools for generations, and there were very few school shootings. It is only after the federal government banned guns in schools that school shootings become much more common. The idea that adults should be banned from carrying guns in schools is a fairly recent one. It particularly gained popularity after the federal government banned guns in schools in the middle of the 1990’s.

Before that, guns were fairly common in schools for educational and recreational purposes.

Ultimately, the ban on guns in schools has been held to be a matter for the state legislature in West Virginia. That is were reforms on the carry of guns in schools will have to be addressed.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.  Gun Watch


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