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WV House OKs concealed carry without permit

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — For the second year in a row, lawmakers in the West Virginia House of Delegates have approved a bill to allow adults to carry concealed handguns without obtaining a permit.

The bill (HB 4145) passed the House on an 68-31 vote on Monday, over the objections of opponents who said the vast majority of West Virginians support existing law — which requires gun safety training and a background check for a concealed weapons permit.

“Many people, including NRA members, law enforcement officers and the general public I was elected to represent, have told me this bill goes too far,” said Delegate Dave Pethtel, D-Wetzel.

“Everyone should have training and undergo a background check.”

However, Delegate Eric Householder, R-Berkeley, contended that the Founding Fathers believed that every person not only has the right, but a duty, to bear arms.

“None of the states with permit-less concealed-carry laws has descended into chaos,” Householder said.

If the bill becomes law, West Virginia would become the seventh state — after Alaska, Arizona, Kansas, Maine, Vermont and Wyoming — not to require concealed-carry permits.

The bill now goes to the Senate, which approved a similar bill last year by a 30-4 vote. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed the bill last year…

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