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Legislative column: Protecting our Second Amendment rights

February 23, 2014
By DEL. RANDY SWARTZMILLER , Weirton Daily Times

I always have and always will work to protect and strengthen our Second Amendment rights. I have drafted and worked on legislation that is now in front of the House that strengthens our second amendment right to bear arms. House Bill 4431 (HB 4431) will require West Virginia Natural Resource Officers to have secondary evidence that individuals carrying firearms in the woods are actually hunting rather than simply exercising their right to bear arms before asking to see a hunting license. Secondary evidence could include evidence that a person has harvested game or other hunting equipment that would be conducive of actually hunting. If a person wishes to take a walk in the woods and carry his or her gun for protection, he or she should not have to obtain a hunting license to justify it. West Virginia has an open carry policy; therefore, an individual should not be restricted from carrying freely. I worked closely with representatives of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources in drafting this legislation and appreciate their support on this bill.

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