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Thread: Confusion about Municipal Preemtion

  1. #1
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    Confusion about Municipal Preemtion

    Hi there, I am new to the forum, but have been reading a whole lot of posts here related to OC in WV.

    I have also been studying the WV State laws.

    So it appears that since SB 317 went into effect this past summer, then all local laws are now null and void. Is this assumption correct? So a municipality can no longer ban firearms on their property?

    In Morgantown, I was told no weapons were allowed inside the Metropolitan Theater which is a city owned facility. Since the City of Morgantown can no longer enforce their law stating this, is it possible that in this situation they would be treated as a private property owner who could choose to not allow firearms, and if you enter their establishment with one, and when approached about it you must either relinquish the firearm or leave the property. Does this apply to city owned facilities or just property owned but private interests?

    Thanks,

    Travis

  2. #2
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    Wow. 162 views and 0 responses. I'm surprised. Of course I guess the holidays keep everyone busy.

  3. #3
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    State preemption is a common topic. Without knowledge of the local jurisdiction's details, of the particular case law and of the practices of the jurisdiction, it's pretty moot. Is there an agency charged with enforcement of preemption, are there penalties for violation of preemption, are political subdivisions allowed home-rule in contravention of other statutes?

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    State preemption is a common topic. Without knowledge of the local jurisdiction's details, of the particular case law and of the practices of the jurisdiction, it's pretty moot. Is there an agency charged with enforcement of preemption, are there penalties for violation of preemption, are political subdivisions allowed home-rule in contravention of other statutes?

    Once can and will be arrested for any reason or no reason on the part of the cop. Then you may beat the rap but you will not beat the ride - the extra-legal harassment.

    Thanks for the response.

    I realize that preemption is pretty much a "local" topic and I would never expect someone from Wisconsin to answer a question about local laws in Morgantown, WV. However, reading through the posts under the "West Virginia" forum, there are several members who have made many posts on this forum who are from Morgantown, and even more from West Virginia, who should be more up to speed on our local laws.

    Ultimately, I guess my question is a simple one.... "would the a municipal building be considered the same as a privately owned building in the sense that a private owner has the right to not allow firearms, concealed or open, onto their property. So therefore, could a manager or official from a municipal building (in this case a theater) ask you to either relinquish the firearm or leave.

    I am fully aware that as of this summer, no municipality in WV can actually pass a law or ordinance banning firearms in their building, but would it be treated any different than say, the local mall where they can tell me I am not allowed to possess the firearm on their property.

    Thanks,

    Travis

  5. #5
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    State premption of local/municipal firearms laws normally prevents gun restrictions other than by state statute - i.e. no restiction on city owned property unless authorized by the state.

    https://www.nraila.org/articles/2014...reemption-bill
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  6. #6
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    Travis,

    Generally speaking when the anecdote begins with "I was told ..." or "I heard that ..." or "My (insert LEO division here) said ..." what follows is probably incorrect.

    SB317 does prohibit municipalities from enacting their own laws regarding the owning, purchasing and carrying of firearms.

    However, if a building owned by the municipality is leased or rented out, the lessee or renter could post their own 'policy'. If that policy is violated the lessee or renters recourse is to ask you to leave. If you leave, no law is broken. If you do not, it is simple trespass.

    So the Metropolitan Theater building may be owned by the city, but it is likely leased out to whomever is putting on the event.

    For further clarification I suggest you go to the WVCDL page on facebook. It was the WVCDL that pushed to get SB317 through and one of our Board of Directors (Sean Dill) is a resident of Morgantown. He may be able to provide better insight.

    In fact, I'll start a thread there now. It will have to be approved, so it may not appear until tomorrow morning.

    Edit: I just re-read your initial post.

    You asked "...is it possible that in this situation they would be treated as a private property owner who could choose to not allow firearms..."

    The answer to that is NO. The one of the reasons for the verbiage in SB317 is because of a restaurant in Martinsburg. The City of Martinsburg owned the building and leased it out to the restaurant. When Martinsburg put their "No guns in city buildings" statute in place, their argument was that the City of Martinsburg banned firearms not because they were the "City of Martinsburg", but because they were a property owner.
    Last edited by Shallnotbeinfringed; 01-09-2015 at 11:23 PM.

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