CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) – Senator Robert Karnes, R-Randolph, a member of the West Virginia Senate Conservative Caucus, is praising the heroic actions of a woman who was able to stop a potential mass shooting in Charleston last night by exercising her right to constitutionally carry a firearm.
On Wednesday night, a man arrived at a Charleston apartment complex with an AR-15 and began to shoot at a crowd gathered for a birthday/graduation party. A woman at the party drew her handgun and was able to shoot him before anybody else was injured.
“What happened in Charleston last night is the perfect example of what happens when a good person has a gun in a bad situation,” Senator Karnes said. “A woman, who was exercising her constitutional right to carry a firearm in the state of West Virginia, was able to save a significant number of lives.”
In 2016, the Legislature passed over the objection of then-Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin House Bill 4145, which permits any person over the age of 21 who is not legally prohibited otherwise to conceal carry firearms without the need for a license. In addition, the Legislature has continued to defend the citizens’ Second Amendment rights through other common-sense laws designed to permit citizens to have the freedom to responsibly carry weapons without restriction throughout the state.
“When national tragedies occur, many default to attacks on the Second Amendment. They call for red-flag laws, bans on ugly guns and expanded background checks.” Senator Karnes said. “What the incidents in Uvalde and Charleston clearly show is these so-called ‘commonsense’ reforms would have had no effect on either incident.”
“According to Charleston’s police chief, the perpetrator was a violent felon well-known to law enforcement who was not legally allowed to possess any firearms, yet he showed up at a graduation party with an AR-15. Likely the weapon was stolen but if he did purchase the gun from a dealer, a background check did nothing to prevent the purchase. Either way, expanded background checks would have done nothing to prevent his acquisition of a firearm.”
“In Uvalde the perpetrator was well-known to law enforcement, yet he was able to pass a background check without incident. Interviews with his mother, father and other relatives indicate he was not considered by them to be a danger.”
Senator Karnes noted that “preservation and protection of West Virginians’ Second Amendment rights must remain a priority as the national conversation shifts toward implementing greater restrictions and additional laws that infringe upon the rights of law-abiding citizens.”
“West Virginia is among the best states in the country for lawful firearm owners, and I fully intend to keep it that way,” Senator Karnes said.