Kessler also questioned whether the Legislature should be passing laws to nullify ordinances passed by city councils.
"If they're as oppressive as they're portrayed to be, the easiest thing to do is elect advocates to the city councils and abolish them," he said of the gun ordinances in effect in Charleston, South Charleston, Dunbar and Martinsburg.
He noted that no officials from any of the four cities had supported HB2760.
Charleston Mayor Danny Jones, an outspoken opponent of the bill, said Tuesday he was pleased that the Senate had halted consideration of the legislation.
"I admire the courage of Senators Kessler, Snyder and Palumbo and anyone willing to stand up to this crowd," Jones said.
He said the bill not only would have nullified Charleston ordinances restricting handgun purchases, but also any municipal prohibitions on carrying firearms in parks and other public areas.
The mayor said the use of threats against elected officials is intolerable.
"They thought, apparently, that's the way to get this bill passed," Jones said. "It's staggering."
Jones said he doesn't believe the senators need be concerned whether the Citizens Defense League will oppose them in future campaigns.
"I don't think the power of these people is real," he said.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.