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WV: Second Amendment Protection in Parking Lots Goes to Governor

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 10:57
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On 9 March, 2018, HB 4187 passed the West Virginia senate, 32-1, with 1 senator absent. The bill insures that busnesses may not ban privately owned firearms from vehicles in company parking lots. Summary From HB 4187:

The purpose of this bill is to create the “Business Liability Protection Act”. The bill includes the right to limit possession of firearms on certain premises and definitions. It also provides for misdemeanor criminal offense and penalty. It prohibits employers from certain specific actions against a person when that person possesses a firearm legally, including a condition of employment. The bill provides a duty of care of public and private employers and provides for immunity from liability. The bill authorizes the Attorney General to enforce this statute, including the right to sue or seek injunctive relief; and seek civil fines.

The bill had two amendments added in the senate. From

In the Senate, legislation that would stop private businesses and associations from prohibiting guns in vehicles parked on their property advanced to passage stage on Friday, after the Senate adopted two amendments Thursday (HB 4187).

One change requires that firearms in vehicles be hidden out of view of passers-by. The second clarifies that the right to have firearms in vehicles does not apply to vehicles owned or leased to a private business or association.

The amendments were adopted on a voice vote, without debate.

The only Senator to vote Nay was Corey Palumbo, (D- Kanawa, 17). Palumbo only has a 43% rating from the NRA. He voted against Constitutional Carry (HB 4145 in 2016). From vote on HB 4187, 32 Yea, 1 Nay, 1 Absent.

22 states now have similar bills that protect the right to bear arms inside of privately owned transportation. The point is clear. Most people move plaes in their privately owned vehicles. If they are banned from having arms in those vehicles, their exercise of Second Amendment rights is effectively chilled.

The bill is popular. There was little time to get it through the House, which had to concur with the Senate, because of the amendments. But the House concurred with the Senate on March 10th, the last day of the session. HB 4187 is now engrossed, and will be sent to Governor Jim Justice for signature. While HB 4187 passed with veto proof margins, the legislature is scheduled to adjourn.  Only a simple majority is sufficient to override a veto, but the legislature will not be in session to do so.

Governor Justice has an A rating from the NRA. It is likely he will sign the bill.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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