"Can you imagine how many grievances will be filed if this is enforced?" the employee said.
Finally, it frequently seems the Legislature spends a lot of time fixing problems that don't really exist. Case in point: The House last week unanimously passed a bill that would allow people with concealed weapons permits to have firearms in their vehicles parked at the Capitol Complex (HB4309).
(It just happens that the many legislators with concealed weapons permits are some of the more frequent violators of the current ban on firearms on campus.)
The vote drew cheers from members of the West Virginia Citizens Defense League who had packed the House galleries for the floor session.
That sent me looking at the monthly activity reports for the Division of Protective Services, the Capitol complex police.
Those reports show a crime rate on campus that falls closer to Mayberry than to Miami Vice. Cases in the January report, for instance, include reuniting a lost child with his grandmother, assisting a senator in his office, investigating a report of a burning smell (a water cooler overheated), directing traffic around car accidents on Kanawha Boulevard and on Greenbrier Street, assisting Charleston police in apprehending suspects accused of auto theft, maintaining a police presence during a clean-water protest, and assisting with traffic during the governor's emergency water distribution on Kanawha Boulevard.
Going back to 2010, though, I couldn't find a single complaint involving a firearm in a vehicle on campus. The only comparable incident was Sept. 24, 2011, involving a complaint of someone carrying a handgun in the Capitol's lower rotunda. That complaint was cleared without arrest.
Obviously, it's impossible to know if a person has a firearm in a closed car trunk or glove compartment; thus, there are no complaints on record for violations.
Effectively, the bill changes nothing, but earns legislators some brownie points with the gun lobby.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.