|The legislature over the weekend passed an override of Governor Earl Ray Tomblin's veto of free gun carry legislation, the bill becomes law June 5.|
"This bill adds very stiff penalties to the violation of gun laws and gun crimes," said Keith Morgan, President of the West Virginia Citizens Defense League, a gun advocacy group.
The legislation allows for those between the ages of 18 and 20 to carry a concealed firearm after they have completed an approved safety course and successfully been issued a conceal carry permit by a county sheriff's office.
The bill only applies to pistols said Morgan.
"It will be a very serious charge if somebody is for example carrying a concealed pocket knife with a blade longer than three and a half inches or brass knuckles," Morgan said.
For those 21 and over, come June 5th you can carry a concealed handgun without a permit within the state of West Virginia. Morgan added however, all of those who are presently excluded from carrying a gun are still excluded.
Furthermore, the legislation allowed for the conceal carry provision within the borders of West Virginia only.
Reciprocity agreements remain in place with 38 other states and you will still need a West Virginia conceal carry permit to exercise your rights in the other states.
Laws against carrying a concealed weapon in a number of public places was expanded last year in a dispute in Kanawha County, and such carry is generally allowed in parks and recreational facilities.