CHARLESTON, W.Va., March 8, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Charleston Mayor Danny Jones came out in strong opposition to HB 317 today, an aggressive rollback of public safety laws. As the legislative session prepares to adjourn tonight at midnight, the West Virginia State Senate is set to consider this dangerous legislation that would eliminate criminal background checks on private handgun sales, force cities to allow guns into their recreation centers, and render law enforcement powerless to punish those who illegally carry guns into municipal buildings. Jones joined Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the nation's largest gun violence prevention advocacy organization, yesterday after the legislation passed out of the House Judiciary Committee.
West Virginia's law currently prohibits cities from passing most gun laws, but grandfathers in preexisting city ordinances. This bill would remove that grandfather clause, invalidating longstanding city ordinances, including laws in Charleston that enable police to conduct criminal background checks on handgun sales and prohibit guns in parks and recreation facilities. If HB 317 passes, Charleston would be stripped of an important public safety tool that keeps guns out of the hands of criminals, and cities across West Virginia would be forced to allow guns in their city recreation centers. They would also be powerless to punish people who carry guns in their government buildings.
"I urge the legislature to reject this dangerous bill, which threatens the safety of citizens in Charleston and across West Virginia by preventing police from conducting background checks on handgun sales and forcing us to allow guns into recreation centers where our children play," Mayor Jones said. "I am proud to join Mayors Against Illegal Guns and to stand with hundreds of mayors across the country who are fighting for the kinds of common sense gun laws that this bill would eliminate."
Mayor Jones is available for interview and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-389-2010.
About Mayors Against Illegal Guns
Since its creation in April 2006, Mayors Against Illegal Guns has grown from 15 mayors of major American cities to more than 1.5 million grassroots supporters – making us the largest gun violence prevention advocacy organization in the country. The bipartisan coalition has united mayors, gun violence survivors and everyday Americans around these common goals: protecting communities by holding gun offenders accountable; demanding access to crime gun trace data that is critical to law enforcement efforts to combat gun trafficking; and working with legislators to fix weaknesses and loopholes in the law that make it far too easy for criminals and other dangerous people to get guns. The group recently joined forces with Moms Demand Action, the leading grassroots movement of American mothers working to prevent gun violence. Learn more at www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org or on Twitter @DemandAction
Mayors Against Illegal Guns: Kate Downen: email@example.com or 406-224-5056
SOURCE Mayors Against Illegal Guns