In a move that shows just how little Republicans care about the opinion and safety of police, West Virginia now allows ANYONE to carry concealed weapons WITHOUT a permit.
The state had previously required people who want the ability to carry a concealed weapon to get a permit and undergo training so that they know how to use their gun and keep themselves and others safe around it.
Republicans, however, chose to pass House Bill 4145 to do away with that program and the permit system for anyone over 21 years of age.
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin had vetoed the Republican gun bill on Thursday for the second time in two years citing police concerns that the law could turn West Virginia into a land of gunslingers who have no clue about gun safety or how to use it.
“I just don’t think it’s in the best interest of the state of West Virginia to sign this bill,” Tomblin said. “When you’re a police officer and you walk into a dangerous situation, you almost have to expect that everyone’s carrying a gun.”
But in their gun crazy fervor, Republicans decided to override that veto on Friday, thus dismantling a critical program that had kept the mentally ill and convicted felons from getting concealed carry permits. Now they’ll be able to carry their gun in public among innocent people who could end up being killed by someone who shouldn’t be able to have a gun in the first place.
As previously mentioned, West Virginia law enforcement officials strongly opposed eliminating the system that has served the state well over the years.
According to West Virginia Metro News,
Kent Carper, president of the Kanawha County Commission, was one of several officials who expressed concern about the bill that, he said, fails to protect police officers.
“Do we seriously want to send our law enforcement officials out and take away any chance they have to come home safely?” he said. “These men and women protect us.”
Over the last few years, Carper said more than 173 county residents were denied gun permits.
“(It was) for people that had mental problems, people that were convicted felons, drug dealers. Do we really want to take away a sensible protection for our law enforcement?” he said.
County Sheriff Steve Tanner blasted Republicans for being irresponsible.
“I don’t know how we as a society can say it’s OK for someone to carry a concealed weapon with absolutely no training and expect if something bad happens, they’re going to be the hero to rush in to protect their family or strangers. It has got to be the law that people are required to have training before they carry.”
Here’s the report by 13 News via YouTube:
Republicans literally just made it legal for mentally unstable people and convicted felons to carry concealed weapons and there is nothing police officers can do about it except wear bullet proof vests on a daily basis and hope they don’t end up becoming a target or the victim of gunfire by an idiot attempting to be Rambo.
Conservatives constantly claim that they support police officers. But now Republicans in West Virginia have made it clear that they don’t care if police officers have a higher chance of being gunned down by a right-wing gun nut. They certainly don’t care about the millions of innocent people who now have to worry about whether the rambling crazy person standing around is going to open fire any minute. Or worse, parents will now have to worry about their children in school because the new law allows concealed carry everywhere, meaning anyone could walk into a school with a gun and the police can’t do anything about it until the shooting starts. And even if there is a so-called “good guy with a gun” around, it’s very likely they won’t be trained, which means innocent people could be killed by the wannabe hero.
If you live in West Virginia, think about that next time you send your child off to school or watch your police officer spouse head off to work. Because the chances that you’ll never see them alive again just skyrocketed. All because Republicans are gun crazy.
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