CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey says mutual agreements have been made with Iowa and New Hampshire to recognize West Virginia concealed weapons permits, and for West Virginia to recognize permits from those states.
The agreements, announced Wednesday, bring to 36 the number of states where West Virginia residents with a valid concealed weapons permit can legally carry a concealed handgun, Morrisey said. West Virginia now has reciprocity agreements or mutual recognition agreements with 29 states, allowing residents in those states with valid permits to carry concealed weapons in West Virginia.
"These agreements are the culmination of many weeks of discussion and negotiation with other states, and we look forward to securing even more agreements with other states in the months to come," Morrisey said.
In 2007, the Legislature assigned former Attorney General Darrell McGraw the task of working out concealed weapons reciprocity agreements with other states. Before that, only Virginia and Kentucky recognized West Virginia concealed weapons permits. Lawyers with the attorney general's office worked out agreements with about 20 states within the first year.
Morrisey said new agreements have been reached with five states this summer.
West Virginia now has reciprocity agreements or mutual recognition agreements with Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.
Alabama, Indiana, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Vermont and Wisconsin formally recognize West Virginia concealed weapons permits, but West Virginia does not yet recognize permits from those states, according to Morrisey spokeswoman Beth Ryan.
West Virginia lawmakers recently broadened the rules under which the attorney general's office can make concealed weapons agreements with other states.
Some gun control advocates question whether reciprocity agreements are a good idea, because different states have different standards for training or applying for a concealed weapons permit. Officials for the West Virginia attorney general's office say West Virginians carrying concealed weapons in other states are bound by the handgun laws in those states.
For more information about West Virginia concealed carry laws, visit www.wvago.gov/gunrecep.cfm.
Reach Rusty Marks at rustyma...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.