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Concealed Carry Bill Heads to Governor's Desk with Tax Credit Intact

ColeArmsteadSOTS.jpg
Perry Bennett
/
West Virginia Legislative Photography
House Speaker Tim Armstead and Senate President Bill Cole after the 2016 State of the State Address.

Members of both the House and Senate approved the final version of a bill Wednesday to remove the permitting and safety training requirements for anyone over the age of 21 to carry a concealed weapon in West Virginia.

House Bill 4145 now heads to Gov. Tomblin's desk. It includes a compromised tax credit of $50 for completing the optional permitting and safety training that will remain in place. 

Those processes allow West Virginians to receive a license that will be recognized by other states through reciprocity agreements. 

On Tuesday, Governor Tomblin said he would wait to see what the final version looked like before deciding whether to sign the bill, but said law enforcement officials still had concerns with the Senate version, which largely remained the same upon passage Wednesday.

House Bill 4145 includes a provisional licensing process for 18 -to -21-year-olds, who would also be eligible for the tax credit. The bill also increases penalties for anyone who carries a concealed weapon unlawfully and creates a separate felony for the use of a weapon while committing another crime. 

Tomblin vetoed a similar measure during the 2015 session, but it takes only a simple majority to override a gubernatorial veto. 

The governor has five days, not including Sundays, to consider the legislation, leaving members of the Legislature time to override the veto before the session ends on March 12.


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