CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- After an amendment from a Kanawha County delegate Wednesday, a bill to extend and expand a municipal home-rule pilot project would force Charleston officials to either drop a city ordinance restricting handgun purchases or the city's continued participation in home rule.
The House of Delegates adopted an amendment by Delegate Patrick Lane, R-Kanawha, which would prohibit cities participating in the home-rule program from having municipal firearms ordinances.
That would affect only Charleston, which is one of four cities participating in the home-rule pilot project and one of four cities allowed under state law to have municipal ordinances restricting handgun purchases.
The amendment was toned down from Lane's original proposal, to put the contents of a now-dead bill nullifying gun ordinances in Charleston and three other cities (HB2760) into the home-rule bill (SB435).
Unlike that bill, the amendment adopted Wednesday allows cities to have regulations prohibiting firearms in municipal buildings and facilities.
"In an effort to answer some objections to the amendment, I've added a section to allow municipalities to regulate the carry of firearms in municipal buildings," Lane told the House.
"That's clearly more reasonable," Senate Government Organization Chairman Herb Snyder, D-Jefferson, said Wednesday evening of the amendment adopted by the House.
However, he said that he expects the Senate will refuse to concur on the House amendments to the bill, sending it to a House-Senate conference committee to work out differences in the two versions of the bill.