Charleston, WV Ordinance Banning Guns in Public Parks Shot Down by Court

Here’s some good gun news for the people of West Virginia.  A recent court ruling has shot down a lawsuit by the City of Charleston against the WVCDL, West Virginia Citizen’s Defense League.  The ruling essentially lifted the city’s efforts to ban firearm possession at “… all parks and recreation buildings and facilities, including recreation centers, playgrounds, swimming pools, dressing areas, tennis courts, parks and recreation areas and all parking facilities …”

 

from ammoland.com

Finally, after more than four years, the WVCDL’s suit against the City of Charleston has been decided, to include the suit filed by the City of Charleston, against the WVCDL. Yes. We have the honor of being the only civil rights organization, that to my knowledge, that has been sued by a city in West Virginia.

WVCDL members that are Charleston residents, your own city government sued you.

But it has been resolved.

The full text of the ruling can be found here.

High points of the ruling:

  • The illegal portions of Charleston’s ordinance banning firearms at: “… all parks and recreation buildings and facilities, including recreation centers, playgrounds, swimming pools, dressing areas, tennis courts, parks and recreation areas and all parking facilities …” is null and void.
  • School property remains off limits (excepting pickup and drop off per SB388), and any property to which the school systems hold deed, title, or lease, is a felony. This includes the Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreational Center.
  • Definition of the term “securely stored:” “… as being on one’s person and in a holster, purse, or bag so as long as the weapon remains attached to the individual, firmly adhered to one’s body, and is not freely placed.” (This is big precedent.)

Meat of the ruling: “This court does hereby further find that if the municipal recreation center is not leased or used by the Board of Education for school activities, events, or functions, then individuals with a valid license to carry a concealed weapon may carry their lawfully possessed firearm into said premises so long as the firearm is securely stored, out of view and access to others as prescribed by W. Va. Code 8-12-5a. The phrase “securely stored out of view and access to others” is interpreted by this court as being on one’s person and in a holster, purse, or bag so as long as the weapon remains attached to the individual, firmly adhered to one’s body, and is not freely placed. Storing a firearm within the confines of one’s locker or gun case is also acceptable, so long as the locker or case is locked and secured by key or combination. The City of Charleston is under no obligation to provide locks and/or cases for such storage.”

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Paul Gordon is the publisher and editor of iState.TV. He has published and edited newspapers, poetry magazines and online weekly magazines.
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