CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia now has formalized agreements with 25 states to allow state residents with a valid concealed weapons permit to legally carry concealed while in those states.
State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced Friday that West Virginia has entered into a concealed handgun reciprocity agreement with Idaho effective July 23. A reciprocity agreement means that licensed West Virginians can carry a concealed pistol in Idaho, and licensed Idaho residents can legally carry concealed in West Virginia.
The agreement brings to 25 the number of states with which West Virginia has formalized reciprocity. Another seven states recognize the right of licensed West Virginians to carry concealed in their states.
"I am pleased to announce the full reciprocity agreement with the state of Idaho," Morrisey said. "The Second Amendment ensures that citizens have the right to keep and bear arms. Under my tenure as attorney general, we will continue to protect the Second Amendment rights of West Virginians both in the state of West Virginia and as they travel across the United States."
More than 30 states now have "shall issue" laws that require local governments to issue concealed weapons permits to citizens to pass the requirements to be issued a permit. Several more issue concealed weapons permits at the discretion of local officials.
West Virginians carrying concealed weapons in other states are required to abide by the handgun laws of those states, officials say.
West Virginia now has concealed weapons reciprocity agreements with Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.
Indiana, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Vermont and Wisconsin also formally recognize West Virginia concealed weapons permits, although permits from those states may not be recognized in West Virginia. Wisconsin only recognizes West Virginia permits issued after June 8, 2012, Morrisey said.
"Our office currently is working to secure addition recognition of West Virginia concealed handgun licenses with several other states," he said. "We look forward to having similar announcements in the near future."
More than 60,000 West Virginians are licensed to carry concealed weapons, according to information compiled by the West Virginia State Police. For more information on reciprocity and West Virginia's gun laws, visit the attorney general's website at www.wvago.gov/gunrecep.cfm.
Reach Rusty Marks at rustyma...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.