West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed the state's controversial gun bill this afternoon.
His office just issued this statement:
"This evening, I signed Senate Bill 317 because I support our 2nd Amendment rights, and I also see the need for uniform and consistent gun laws throughout the state. I believe this legislation will give municipalities clarity for regulating firearms in their facilities.
I understand the concern of those who have voiced opinions about challenges within the bill related to municipally-owned recreational centers. I will continue to work with local and state officials to address those concerns."
Commonly referred to as the gun bill, Senate Bill 317 creates uniform gun laws throughout the Mountain State by eliminating city gun ordinances. However, this bill has created a lot of confusion, in particular,the portion which addresses guns in municipal recreation centers.
Under the bill, those with concealed-carry permits can bring their guns into city recreation centers as long as they are securely stored and out of view and access to others.
On March 19, Charleston City Council voted to eliminate the city's purchase limit and waiting period. However, Mayor Danny Jones says:
"We very much regret that Governor Tomblin has signed Senate Bill 317, the gun bill. We expect to proceed to Kanawha County Circuit Court to find out whether these recreation centers are, in fact, part of the Kanawha County School System. If we prevail, that would make carrying guns on the property a felony. If we do not prevail, we hope there will be no trouble at the recreation centers. If there are either shootings or shootouts, we hope none of the innocent children that take part in the programs there are hit with any stray rounds of ammunition."