Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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March 5, 2013

W.Va. House panel advances gun ordinance repeal

CHARLESTON — West Virginia would void local and county-wide gun laws under a measure endorsed by the House Judiciary Committee.

The bill advanced Tuesday by a non-unanimous voice vote would make clear that only the Legislature can regulate firearms and ammunition.

The measure strikes down any ordinances inconsistent with state law, including several enacted by Charleston in the 1990s. Those set a 72-hour waiting period for a handgun purchase and then limit purchases to one per month.

The Legislature had previously blocked local and county ordinances, but exempted those already enacted. Tuesday’s bill would repeal that exception.

The measure advances to the full House for a vote.

Supporters include the West Virginia Citizens Defense League. That group had tried to sue Charleston and other municipalities over their ordinances.

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