Effort to drop gun permits a crime in the making

An editorial from The Dominion Post 

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The gun lobby cannot miss in this session of the state Legislature.

In recent weeks, we have pointed out the numerous bills that gun-friendly lawmakers think our state needs.

Never mind there’s no outcry for any of this legislation by Neighborhood Watch groups, Parent Teacher Organizations, law enforcement, senior centers or anyone else.

Except for the gun lobby, which is showing us yet again that it does not belong in any serious conversation about ending gun violence.

On a voice vote Monday, the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved Senate Bill 347, which drops the need for concealed-carry permits.

That’s despite arguments against this proposal by the West Virginia Sheriffs’ Association, which best understands how a handgun can escalate an argument into a homicide. Or how
just the presence of a handgun endangers all parties.

No one needs to point out the incidents of road rage, arguments about parking spaces and domestic disputes that turn fatal when a handgun appears.

For now, 46 states require concealed-carry permits, including West Virginia.

We should point out, too, that our state’s open-carry law already allows for strapping a deadly weapon on your hip, or slinging a shotgun over your shoulder across the state. Just as long as you’re an adult with no felony convictions, that is.

No need to explain anything to anyone. No permits and training required, either. It’s not an issue. Yet, it’s a rare day when you see anyone toting a .357 Magnum onto a playground, or packing a Glock 39 into a church.

However, if the gun lobby and its “re presentatives” in the Legislature hit this target, you’ll soon never know what ’s not in plain sight.

Some local restrictions that ban firearms could still apply —in courthouses, for example.

Still, who do you think will be carrying that .40 caliber S&W handgun into the mall in a backpack or under a coat? It may not be anyone you know.

But it could be your worst nightmare.

Currently, a concealed weapons permit costs about $110 total and requires an application, a background check and taking a training course on proper handling and firing of a gun.

Most sheriff ’s departments use the revenue for gear to ensure their officers’ safety.

Allowing countless, untrained citizens to carry loaded, hidden handguns in public puts people at terrible risk — intentionally and unintentionally.

It also makes it harder for law enforcement to identify the actual perpetrators during a shooting.

Law enforcement should continue to have discretion over who carries concealed handguns.

Not requiring concealed-carry permits is a crime waiting to happen —just a shot away.

To read more from The Dominion Post, subscribe here. 

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

And get our latest content in your inbox

Invalid email address