Posted: March 24, 2016 at 2:14 pm
By Cameron Bostic, Madison Fleck and Audrie Kuntz
Gun control in the United States seems to be an ever-growing topic as the number of mass shootings in the country continues to rise. In 2015 alone, there were 372 mass shootings in the US with 475 dead and 1,870 wounded, according to the Mass Shooting Tracker.
In West Virginia, the issue of guns is one being fought on the legislative battlefield, and the pro-gun, less regulation side is winning. On March 5, the Senate voted 23-11 to override Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s veto on the permitless concealed carry bill.
The bill, once it is passed into law after a 90-day period, will get rid of the state’s current conceal carry permit laws and training program and will allow those over the age of 21 to conceal carry without a permit and without any training.
Many Democrats, including Tomblin, have openly opposed the bill, citing concern for law enforcement as the reason for their opposition. However, the Republican-led legislature did need heed these warning and passed the bill without hesitation.
Some pro-gun citizens have voiced their support to the media, saying that the Second Amendment, which protects the right to bear arms, is a right given by the founding fathers of the country and should not have to paid for with additional permits and training. However, other gun advocates feel there should be more training and education about guns before people are allowed to buy.
Mallory Colsmann, who works at her family owned store, Colsmann Arms, believes gun education is important and that gun owners should know how to handle their weapon before buying it.
“People who have never had a gun before will come in and be like, ‘they’re going to take away guns, so I think I’m going to buy one today…Even though I’ve never held one in my life.’ I don’t want to sell [them] a gun.”
Colsmann said that panic buying is one of the main reason those without gun education come to the shop to buy guns.
Though the new law does not go into effect until June, time will tell what kind of effect the legislation will have on the state’s gun sales and mortality rate.