"I predicted last year [that the Legislature] would take our ordinance away from us arbitrarily," Jones said. "[We are] not holding out for anything. [We] just haven't decided yet."
Gun rights advocates in the state have an interest in Charleston's decision. Last week, the West Virginia Citizens Defense League requested an injunction against the city in hopes of forcing Charleston to eliminate its gun ordinances immediately, instead of waiting to opt out of home rule.
Lawyers for the WVCDL argue that a sales tax implemented by the city earlier this year proves the city plans to continue its participation in the home-rule program.
"We're not worried about that lawsuit," Jones said. "It's a nuisance case. It's a fringe organization."
Lane said he worries when he thinks about what repealing Charleston's gun ordinances might mean for public safety. While Charleston still has issues with drugs and violent crime, he said the city saw a dramatic drop in its murder rate after those laws were implemented.
"Our interstates converge here," Lane said. "There is no reason to think that, if everything is opened up again and there's no restraint on gun sales in Charleston, those drug dealers won't be back here doing what they did before."
The home-rule law -- passed in 2007 as a pilot program -- was intended to give cities increased governance.
While participating in the pilot program, Charleston has implemented a sales tax and a use tax to pay for upgrades to the Civic Center, eliminated a business and occupation tax for manufacturing and organized an urban deer hunt.
Reach Rachel Molenda at rachel.mole...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5102.