Prosecuting attorneys talk mask mandate and guns

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Raleigh County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Brian Parsons said living in the state of West Virginia means you live in a constitutional carry state.

“If you’re over the age of 21 in West Virginia and you don’t fall into the category where you’d be prohibited to carry a firearm through a number of reasons, then you’re allowed to carry that firearm openly,” Parsons said.

Governor Justice announced beginning July 7, 2020 everyone must wear a mask when indoors and unable to social distance. Parsons said in the past, wearing a mask and openly carrying a firearm is discouraged.

“If you’re hiding your identity, that’s commonly done in criminal activity and it would be easy to draw a link between trying to disguise yourselves and carrying a firearm,” Parsons said.

Parsons said those who do carry do not need to worry during the mask mandate. He said he and others at the office interpret the mask mandate to allow for openly carrying a firearm.

“It is not illegal, pursuant to West Virginia State Law to be carrying a firearm consistent with all the rules and regulations of carrying a firearm while wearing a mask,” Parsons said.

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