West Virginia Senate Passes Preemption Bill to include more Weapons

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West Virginia State Flag

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- The West Virginia Senate passed Senate Bill 96, a reform of the state weapons preemption law, on 11 February 2020. It passed with a vote of 30 in favor, 2 opposed.

It appears all 50 states have some form of weapons preemption law.  Such laws prohibit local governments from enacting rules, ordinances or limits on the exercise of Second Amendment rights. This ensures some weapons laws are uniform across the entire state.

The preemption laws vary in effectiveness and scope. In West Virginia, the current preemption law §8-12-5a has this heading:

§8-12-5a. Limitations upon municipalities’ power to restrict the purchase, possession, transfer, ownership,carrying, transport, sale and storage of certain weapons and ammunition.

The current law prohibits local governments from regulating revolvers, pistols, rifles, shotguns, or any ammunition components, in a manner in conflict with state law.

SB96 expands the protection of the current preemption law to include the most deadly weapons and pepper spray. From Senate Bill 96:

(b) For the purposes of this section:

“Deadly weapon”means an instrument which is designed to be used to produce serious bodily injury or death or is readily adaptable to that use. The term “deadly weapon”includes, but is not limited to:   

(A) A blackjack, gravity knife, knife, switchblade knife, nunchuka, metallic or false knuckles,pistol, revolver and firearm, as defined in §61-7-2 of this code, or other deadly weapons of like kind or character which may be easily concealed on or about the person; and 

 (B) A rifle and a shotgun.

“Deadly weapon”does not include explosive, chemical, biological and radiological materials,or any item or material owned by a school or county board of education intended for curricular use, and used by a student solely for curricular purposes.

Parsing the wording carefully, the bill brings all arms under the protection of the preemption law, with the exception of explosive, chemical, biological, or radiological materials.

As I  wrote almost three years ago, the Supreme Court, in Caetano v. Massachusetts, unanimously affirmed the Second Amendment applies to all bearable arms.  From Ammoland:

In a historic, but extremely short unanimous opinion, the United States Supreme Court has confirmed that the Second Amendment applies “to all instruments that constitute bearable arms,”.  

As this is an enormous class of nearly all weapons, the decision is properly applied to knives and clubs, and nearly all firearms that have been sold in the United States. 

Knives are protected.  Infringements of the right to keep and carry knives have been common in the United States. Knife Rights is lobbying on behalf of West Virginia Senate Bill 96. Knife Rights has a stellar record of restoring the right to keep and carry knives. The organization has lobbied for and been instrumental in passing laws repealing knife bans in 22 states.

Knife Rights has transformed the law about switchblade knives. 20 years ago, switchblade knives were legal in seven states. Now, switchblade knives are legal in 44 states.

Knife Rights proudly claim that The fight to protect our knives is the Second Front in Defense of the Second Amendment”

It is an accurate description.

Many who fight hard to infringe on the rights to keep and carry firearms have been allies in the right to keep and carry knives. This creates momentum and precedent to remove infringements on the right to arms generally.

SB 96 in West Virginia has been referred to the House. If it passes a House vote,  it will need to be signed by Governor Jim Justice to become law.

About Dean Weingarten:Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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Ironic, my son in law is an Iraq War Veteran and 100% Democrat, living in Va. I KNOW he voted the assholes into office that are F**KING VA RAW now… He is NOT happy at all with what they are doing, maybe losing his firearms freedom will wake him up. I am very proud of his service, but DEEPLY disappointed in his politics.
Democrats are 100% ANTI AMERICAN…. The nations Dems need to wake up and look at EVERY Dem/lib/leftist town, city or state and LEARN !!!!!!!!!!! LOOK at what has happened to those areas. NOTHING GOOD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wild Bill

@Rock, Sometimes it takes time, patients, and buckets of silence.


As for me: I’m always happy to see “What goes around comes around!” come to fruition. This is the universe’s way of showing you how misguided you are. Rare is the person who wakes up to this fact, instead of doubling down on it. We can always hope, but it is rare.


I’m hoping 90 counties take West Virginia up on their offer to welcome them into the state and leave Richmond in the cesspit it is trying to turn itself into.


ABOUT THE WORDS “weapon and assault rifle” ALL GUN WRITERS, gun catalogs and sales folks in stores should quit using these words. An item becomes a “weapon” (knife, ball bat, bottle, brick, arrow or whatever) WHEN THAT PARTICULAR ITEM IN A CRIME/COURT OF LAW; is used against a human being. Further, an assault rifle is a carbine type firearm that fires a mid-power cartridge and has select fire capability–an AR-15 is not one. We keep using these anti-freedom
words like “gun culture” to kill ourselves–we are the dumb ones! We need to get smarter.

jack mac

Jim, and to everyone else on this or any planet: There is no such thing as an assault anything. This means that a selective fire firearm is not an assault thing. Hitler and friends did not change reality by re-designating a machine pistol as storm rifle. The phrase, ‘assault rifle/weapon’ is a figment of the imagination implanted into the minds of even those who know better. Repeating the phrase further propagates the lies of the enemy. The use of such phrases needs to stop.

I suggest that preemption bills included the wording; ‘and all things imagined as assault weapons’.


Great point. Why don’t we have killing bats, stabbing/slashing knives, murder rocks, death feet, etc? Assault is something one does with or without a weapon. I can assault with my bare hands. Assault weapon as used regarding semi-auto sporting rifles is to declare that this machine has only one legitimate purpose – the mass killing of human beings. For any other purpose, it is utterly useless. What crap.


And yet I just watched a video last night by chad and Eric of the youtube channel iraqveteran8888 about WV mocking and making fun of the people , it seems WV is smarter than most states out there today. What two classless turds. Way to bring people together and show support guys.


I just watched that Bil…..i can’t believe they poked fun of West Virginians! Are we divided? Why would they do that?


Maybe you missed it, but they were not making fun of the people of WV or VA, they were mocking Northham and the people in the big urban areas that are against letting the counties secede, and against our God given rights.


WHY do these bills even have to COME UP for a vote,are cities and communities nationwide so STUPID they do not already KNOW that THEY MUST FOLLOW STATE AND FED guidelines, I get livid over the same old shite.


There are seven words, total. The first three, from ‘Caetano v. Massachusetts,’ are “all bearable arms.” The other four, from the Second Amendment, are “shall not be infringed.” Which of those seven words are outside gun-grabbers’ vocabulary? Which of those words are entirely beyond their comprehension? Which of those seven simple words are those idiots too damnably rock-stupid to comprehend? The fact that those words sorely stump anti-2nd Amendment advocates is absolute, incontrovertible, unarguable PROOF that they are mentally retarded to the point of insanity, and that they cannot be allowed out in public without a Keeper. Every liberal (Democrat)… Read more »


I don’t say this often about our state govt, but they get the 2A.


So every standing if:
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As I wrote almost three years ago, the Supreme Court, in Caetano v. Massachusetts, unanimously affirmed the Second Amendment applies to all bearable arms.

How was
Virgins able to pass there latest anti- gun Legislation?????


Because they don’t care. It only matters to them on their feelings.


Virginia’s Democrat leaders know very well that … 1) Democrats’ gerrymandered districts protect them from being voted out of office, even if they enact ridiculous legislation, 2) it is extremely expensive and time-consuming for pro-gun advocates to use the court system to have any law declared unconstitutional, 3) they (Democrat leaders) have access to unlimited amounts of tax revenue with which to fight any attack on their legislation, 4) there is no assurance that the Supreme Court would actually take the case at all, and – perhaps most importantly – 5) UNTIL any anti-firearms law is actually (finally) declared unconstitutional,… Read more »


“Deadly weapon ”means an instrument which is designed to be used to produce serious bodily injury or death or is readily adaptable to that use.” Would that include cars et el? They can be adapted “to that use.” How about hammers? Sounds like baseball is dead…bats can be adapted. So much for screwdrivers, anything hard!!!

Red Falcon 1325

What a great name for a Governor – Justice! Too bad Virginia is stuck with Governor Blackface Gungrabber McBabykiller.


Do What I Say Not What I Do! Their demands are the foundation of their Lies for control and Power. Anti-Constitutionalist’s=Anti-Americans=Enemies of the United States… Progressivism is still a form of oppression by government control, confiscation of guns, punishment for “hate speech and hate crimes” as decided by the powers that be, diluted education which shapes a compliant global citizenry with no recognition or much knowledge of who they are and their real history, no distinct nationality, and no divergent opinions from those expressed by the government in power and its mouthpiece, the zealous press core. People who understand what… Read more »


Since West Virginia is showing some “Common Sense” here.
Any county in Virginia that can, should secede from Virginia ASAP. They will never get a better deal than this one.
Or they will have to otherwise wait it out till the next election cycle that counts.
Get off their collective asses and vote this time.. There is a lot more Red then Blue out there.
Getting rid of this libitard minority shouldn’t be that hard if they all actually vote for a real change.
Its up to the voters in Virginia to get it back to reality.