CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Legislation to nullify all city and county firearms ordinances (HB2760) is now in the Senate Government Organization Committee - where the chairman said Tuesday it will stay for the foreseeable future.
"We're not taking up any House bills for now," said Chairman Herb Snyder, D-Jefferson, who said the committee plans to complete work on all Senate bills before taking up HB2760 or any other bills passed by the House.
Snyder said the delay will also give the committee the opportunity to see if Congress proceeds with legislation tightening federal gun laws.
"We're looking at the national level, to see what the federal government is going to do to make any changes in gun legislation," he said.
Regardless of what happens with the House bill, Snyder said gun owners in West Virginia can rest assured their rights will be protected.
"West Virginia will be the last place where anyone has their guns taken away," he said.
Also in the Legislature Tuesday:
Currently, the violation is a secondary offense, meaning it can be cited only when a driver is stopped for another traffic violation.
Governor's Highway Safety Program director Bob Tipton told the committee he believes projections that a primary offense law will increase seatbelt usage by 7 percent and save 14 lives a year are low.
Under the bill, fines for failing to wear a seatbelt remain low at a maximum of $25, but Tipton said the primary offense law is all about perception.
"It's the perception that you will get a ticket if you don't wear a seatbelt," he said.