Charleston Mayor says city is still against 'gun bill' - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Charleston Mayor says city is still against 'gun bill'

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Charleston Mayor Danny Jones Charleston Mayor Danny Jones
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Charleston Mayor Danny Jones said he isn't sure if the city will pursue another lawsuit if the current one regarding a new municipal firearms law is dismissed.

On April 16, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said his office filed a motion to intervene in the case the city filed in March asking a judge to determine if recreational facilities qualify as educational ones, under state law (Senate Bill 317).

Morrisey's office said the city's lawsuit was essentially "suing no one" and lacked an adverse party.

"I'm not saying he's not right, but we don't think someone should be arrested," Jones said of bringing a gun into a recreational center. "Because if someone brings a gun in the King Center we're going to arrest them and charge them with a felony."

Jones said he was afraid the city would be left with having to deal with the law directly, applying city ordinances but left unable to enforce them.

"The real question is, is the state going to do to themselves what they've done to us," Jones said. 

As it stands, Jones said it's a misdemeanor to carry a gun into a state facility including the West Virginia Capitol complex, but the new gun law would make it a felony for someone to bring a gun into a rec center.

"It's like go to the water, but don't drink it," Jones said.

Jones also said it would be counterproductive to have guns "allowed" in rec centers where young children are trying to be introduced to a world without guns.

"It's confusing to young men," Jones added.

Senate Bill 317 attempts to create uniform gun laws across the state.

The law says municipalities may not restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens by not allowing anyone with a properly obtained concealed handgun permit from entering a city's recreational center. Under the provision, the firearms would have to be securely stored "out of view" and cannot be accessed by another but the permit holder.