LETTER: Davis Proposes Legislation for "Gun Free" WV Zones

Updated 16 weeks ago Special to HuntingtonNews.Net

GUN FREE ZONE REFORM GUN FREE ZONE REQUIREMENTS, PLANNING AND PERMITTING February 8,2018 Proposed Legislation For consideration and comment. Steven J Davis Candidate 16th District West Virginia House of Delegates

The need for a citizen of the State of West Virginia to protect themselves has never been more important than currently. Our state like others is experiencing an increase in crime and especially person to person crime.


As citizens of the State of West Virginia we have the luxury of the ability to exercise our Second Amendment Rights and carry our firearm Constitutionally. While I encourage that all participate in a firearm training class and obtain a concealed carry permit as we know within the boundaries of West Virginia as of the writing of this proposed legislation we are not required to do so.


Currently, we can protect ourselves except for Gun Free Zones It is the opinion of many in our state that Gun Free Zones are a rich target for those who are in search of a soft target and wish to do harm to a varying type of targets. This proposed legislation is to regulate Gun Free Zones. These Zones have no current requirements other than a sign or sticker on a door at the entrance.


It is my opinion that this is neither logical or equivalent to any type of a safety program for the occupants of the self-proclaimed Facility. Currently all Commercial and Government buildings are subject to Fire Codes which have requirements that must be met for safety of the occupants. These are local, state and federal requirements. These must be met and maintained for continued occupancy. These requirements are also enforced by Fire Marshals and other local state and federal agencies on a regular basis.


Gun Free Zones should be no different. Asking any citizen or visitor into any facility in the state of West Virginia without adequate protection is a lapse in our duty to protect as our oath of office requires. Governing Body County Sheriffs shall issue, inspect and maintain the regulations as they pertain to Gun Free Zone permits Gun Free Zone Permits shall be Required by each property wishing to maintain a Gun Free Zone. This shall be required on an annual renewal basis.

Any change in the activity or in the scheduled protection shall be reported to the Sheriff at the time of the change. Any non-reported variance shall be subject to penalty and or loss of the permit for the Gun Free Zone. The cost for the inspection of the gun free zone permit shall be determined by each local sheriff. This cost shall be consistent across the jurisdiction of the Sheriff's jurisdiction.


Gun free zone permits shall include all Private and Government Facilities including all Schools that desire to be a Gun Free Zone. Gun Free Zone permits will also be required for any event being held outside such as a street fair, carnival, concert or sporting event. Sporting events at schools will be required to apply for a second permit for outdoor sporting events.


Indoor sporting events or other indoor after school events shall be covered by a separate plan in the master gun free zone permit process. Recurring events can use the same Master Plan and Permit if the circumstances remain the same event to event within the same 12 months of the original Master Plan and Permit. Notification of the Sheriff is required for each event.


Permit process

Each facility that wishes to maintain a Gun Free Zone must in writing provide a Master Plan for the protection for all occupants for any time that the facility is occupied. The Master plan must include a drawing of the facility floor plan each floor outside areas adjacent to the facility and any common area used by visitors or employees for business or recreation.


The Master Plan floor plan must include the square footage of all areas and a total of the interior and exterior of the facility. Each Master Plan will also provide where armed personal will routinely be stationed to provide quick response. Active shooter/shooters/attacker plan of escape or lockdown procedures must be included in the Master plan. This plan shall include adequate armed staff that can protect the occupants during an active shooter/shooters or attacker event. Proof of the staffs training shall be provided to the Sheriff. This shall include their names their training documentation and a copy of their background check. The Sheriff has the right to reject any plan found not adequate for the protection of the occupants or any person listed as armed staff.


Gun Free Zones must account for total square footage of the facility, total occupancy capacity, the distance visitors or employees are required to walk from their transportation to the facility. No Gun Free Zone shall be established where an active shooter/shooters or attacker cannot be met with force within the first TWO minutes of the first shot being fired or plea for help is heard.


Each Gun Free Zone will be required to post a sign at all entrances no smaller than eight by ten along with a reference of the Gun Free Zone permit number. No business shall reject the right of any citizen of the State of West Virginia to keep their firearm locked in their personal vehicle in any parking lot or on any property.


Gun Free Zone permits do not apply to nor shall infringe on any citizen right of protection or their Second Amendment right while traveling to and from their place of employment or business or pleasure. Vehicles owned by the State or the employer will be subject to the policy of that agency and are not affected by the Gun Free Zone permit.


Home Rule shall have no Jurisdiction or Rights regarding this Legislation. The purpose of this proposed legislation is to allow our citizens and visitors to freely move about our state affording them the protection that the second amendment provides.

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