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Bill would allow guns in schools, recreation centers, city officials say


Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Charleston Mayor Danny Jones said the city may disallow school programming in its recreation centers or even shut down the centers if a gun bill that recently passed in the state Senate becomes a law.

An attorney that represented the city in a previous case said Senate Bill 244 may allow firearms in school buildings, Jones told the City Council Finance Committee Tuesday evening.

The bill would amend state law to prohibit firearms at school-sponsored functions in an area owned or leased by state or county school agencies “for the actual period of time the function is occurring.” It would also specify that guns are prohibited on school grounds “if such institution has adopted a written policy allowing for possession of firearms or other deadly weapons in the facility or on the grounds thereof.”

Jones said that might mean that the city’s Martin Luther King Center may ban guns only when the Kanawha County Schools’ Head Start program hosted there or an after-school program is in session.

“I’m trying to understand what we’re going to do if this happens,” Jones said during the Finance Committee’s meeting. “And if this happens, my notion is to notify these programs and the people that run them and wherever they come from that they probably ought to move their programs out of our recreation centers because … we cannot manage this. This is not an airport at the King Center. We’re not going to hire the TSA to come in there and put up … a metal detector.”

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