WVCDL is launching its campaign to repeal various grandfathered city ordinances with a presentation to Charleston City Council (http://www.cityofcharleston.org/council.htm
) members during the public comment period. Charleston City Council meets on the First and Third Monday of the month at 7:00 p.m. at Charleston City Hall, 501 Virginia Street East, in downtown Charleston.
Charleston has several city ordinances that are grandfathered under the state preemption law whose repeal we will seek, including:
· Charleston City Code §§ 18-421 through 454. These sections are a handgun dealer licensing and regulatory scheme that impose redundant licensing requirements on handgun dealers and impose on customers a one handgun per month purchase limit and a 3-day waiting period on all handgun purchases. Since their enactment in 1993, most gun dealers have simply moved out of the city and avoided these ordinances altogether.
· Charleston City Code § 78-163 is an old license to carry ordinance that mirrors the state license to carry statute that was declared unconstitutional over 20 years ago in State ex rel. City of Princeton v. Buckner. This ordinance does accommodate concealed weapon licensees but leaves open carry without a license in doubt.
· Charleston City Code § 78-164 prohibits unlicensed individuals from carrying in the area of the Charleston Sternwheel Regatta.
· Charleston City Code § 78-165 prohibits anyone other than a law-enforcement officer or gun show exhibitor from possessing any weapon on any city-owned property. Unlike the two ordinances above, there is no exception for concealed weapon licensees. This ordinance applies to all property owned by the city, including both buildings and land. Although we are unsure about whether we can achieve a full repeal of this section, we intend to remove as many areas from this section as possible.
· Charleston City Code § 78-168 totally prohibits the possession of switchblade knives within the City of Charleston.
The above ordinances can all be accessed online at http://www.municode.com/resources/gatew ... 013&sid=48
We intend to provide the council an oral and written presentation on these ordinances (several council members we contacted by phone were completely unaware of many of these ordinances and seemed receptive to our position) and the existing federal and state laws that already regulate firearms and concealed weapons. We need as many people as possible to attend to show support for restoring our gun rights in Charleston. As per Charleston City Code § 78-165, do NOT carry on city property.