West Virginia HB 4145, a constitutional carry bill that included knives was recently vetoed by Governor Tomblin (D). At the beginning of this month, the legislature overrode that veto, but don’t tool up just yet! The law will become effective “on or about June 3” according to Knife Rights, and for those between the ages of 18 and 21, things are a little complicated. Full details after the jump.
March 6, 2016: Governor Tomblin’s veto of the Knife Rights supported West Virginia Permitless (Constitutional) Carry bill, HB 4145, that was vetoed by the governor was overridden by the legislature this past weekend. It will now become law effective in 90 days after passage, on or about June 3. The new law allows West Virginians 21 years old and older, who are not prohibited persons, to carry a concealed “deadly weapon,” including knives, without a permit. That includes switchblades (automatics), balisongs and gravity knives.
However, knife carriers may still face local restrictions on their right to carry a knife. West Virginia’s existing preemption law protects firearms owners only.
WARNING: Persons 18 years old but less than 21 years old may obtain a license to carry a concealed handgun BUT that license DOES NOT include concealed carry of a knife or any other “dangerous weapon.” The penalties for anyone under 21 carrying a concealed knife illegally have been made far tougher. It is now a felony!
Anyone who is younger than 21 should be very careful to abide by West Virginia’s 3.5-inch concealed carry limit and the total prohibition on concealed carry of switchblades (automatics), balisongs and gravity knives.
With all the oxygen sucked out of the state capitol by HB 4145, it will be a challenge to get Knife Rights’ bipartisan West Virginia Knife Law Preemption bill, HB 4541, passed this year in the remaining days left in the session. HB 4541 would ensure that knife carriers don’t face local restrictions on their right to carry a knife under HB 4145.
Knife Law Preemption repeals and prevents local ordinances more restrictive than state law which only serve to confuse or entrap law-abiding citizens traveling within or through the state. Preemption ensures citizens can expect consistent enforcement of state knife laws everywhere in a state.
Knife Rights passed the nation’s first Knife Law Preemption bill in Arizona in 2010 and has since passed preemption bills in Alaska, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and most recently in Wisconsin.