West Virginia Senate clears bill to delete concealed handgun permit requirement in state

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CHARLESTON, West Virginia — Senators have approved a push to make West Virginia the sixth state not to require concealed handgun permits.

The Senate's 32-2 vote Monday would drop concealed carry permit requirements. Arkansas, Alaska, Arizona, Vermont and Wyoming similarly don't require them.

Open carry, like a holster on a hip, is legal without permitting in West Virginia. Thirty-one states total have similar open-carry rules.

Covering handguns up, like with a coat, requires a permit.

Senators rejected amendments requiring training, prohibiting people younger than 21 from concealed carrying and mandating licenses for nonresidents.

The state Sheriffs Association expressed concerns. Association Executive Director Rodney Miller said officers would have to assume more people had concealed firearms and lacked training.

Proponents cited 2nd Amendment arguments.

The measure heads to the House.

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