West Virginia Legislatures Pass Three Pro-Gun Bills

The 2012 legislative session in West Virginia adjourned on March 10 and ended with good news for gun owners: three NRA-backed pro-gun bills are now headed to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin for approval.

The first of the three bills is Senate Bill 149, which would mandate police authorities to return all seized firearms to the lawful owner, as long as the firearms are not currently being held as evidence in a criminal investigation. If the lawful owner is unable to take possession of the firearm, the police agencies will then sell them at a public auction to a licensed firearms dealer. This bill is comparable to Georgia’s S. B. 350, which Guns.com discussed in an earlier article, and would prevent seized firearms from being immediately destroyed.

Senate Bill 353 would lead to greater reciprocity for permit holders and allow for valid concealed carry permit holders to be exempt from the FBI National Instant Criminal background Check System (NICS), in other words gun sales for carry permit holders will be quicker.

The final bill on the agenda, Senate Bill 478, creates an apprentice hunting license for both West Virginia residents and non-residents. The licenses are comparable to the current youth hunting licenses, but would be available to apprentice hunters of any age.

Apprentice hunters are encouraged to go afield under the supervision of a West Virginia licensed hunter so that they may be introduced to hunting without having to take a hunter education course.

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