The West Virginia legislature has voted to override the governor’s veto of a bill that allows residents to carry a concealed weapon without a license.
The Senate voted 23-11 in favor of overriding the veto on Saturday, following suit with the House of Delegates. This is the second straight year that a constitutional carry bill made its way to the governor’s desk.
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed a similar bill last year, and was against this year’s bill as well – due to concerns from law enforcement.
“It’s disheartening that the members of the legislature have chosen not to stand with these brave men and women – putting their safety and the safety of West Virginians at risk,” Gov. Tomblin said.
The bill’s supporters said it’s a victory for self-defense in the state.
“Each officer is trained from the West Virginia State Police Academy to treat every counter as an armed encounter,” said Art Thomm, a registered lobbyist with the West Virginia Citizens Defense League. “So before this law goes into effect or after it goes into effect, it’s going to be business as usual.”
West Virginia is now the seventh state in the U.S. to not require permits for concealed weapons.