March 5, 2013
Lunacy: Absurd gun laws

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The gun cult reigns supreme in the West Virginia Legislature.

First, some House Republicans drafted House Bill 2558, which would revoke Charleston's gun-buying limit -- a city law aimed at out-of-state dope dealers who come to town, peddle their poison, and use the profits to buy trunkloads of guns to haul to large cities, to be sold to street gangs.

Next, several Democrats -- including Kanawha Delegate Doug Skaff -- introduced House Bill 2504, requiring West Virginia police to arrest federal officers if they enforce U.S. gun laws.

This is so nutty it may provoke jokes by late-night TV comics.

Sponsored by nine Democrats and two Republicans, the bill declares that "any federal law which attempts to ban a semi-automatic firearm or to limit the size of a magazine of a firearm, or other limitation on firearms in this state, shall be unenforceable in West Virginia."

The bill mandates "a felony criminal penalty for persons who attempt to enforce such a federal law." It specifies:

"Any official, agent or employee of the U.S. government who enforces or attempts to enforce [a federal gun restriction] is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned in a state correctional facility not less than one nor more than five years."

Good grief. If FBI agents or U.S. marshals try to protect West Virginians from AK-47s with 30-shot magazines, this bill would require West Virginia police to arrest the federal agents and help put them in prison.

Why, for heaven's sake, did Skaff and other supposedly intelligent legislators write such an absurdity? Did the fanatical gun lobby and the National Rifle Association write it for them?

Regarding HB2504, Charleston City Council President Tom Lane said: "I think it is wrong for any state lawmaker to suggest we not abide by federal law."

The vast majority of West Virginians don't carry loaded pistols in their pockets or wield mass-killing assault rifles. This sensible majority must look at the Legislature and wonder if it's going haywire.

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