House Judiciary OKs 2nd Amendment bill; law enforcement worries it may hamper cooperation with feds

House Judiciary OKs 2nd Amendment bill; law enforcement worries it may hamper cooperation with feds

Mar. 20—MORGANTOWN — The House Judiciary Committee passed a bill Friday morning aimed at protecting the state from federal gun control overreach, but law enforcement expressed worries that the bill could hamper task force efforts to fight crime. HB 2694 is called the Second Amendment Preservation Act. It says no state agency, political subdivision or an employee of either of those acting in an official capacity may "knowingly and willingly participate in any way in the enforcement of any federal act, law, order, rule, or regulation regarding a firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition if the act, law, order, rule, or regulation does not exist under the laws of this state." It also bars use of public funds for the purposes mentioned. A committee substitute removed criminal penalties described in the introduced version and included exceptions for multi-agency task force investigations of drug crimes and for violations of federal law detected during unrelated law enforcement activity. The bill requires the attorney general to publish model policies for guidance. Delegates peppered committee counsel with various hypothetical "what if " questions. They learned that if the FBI arrested someone participating in a US Capitol insurrection who carried a gun, the bill could prohibit the suspect from being housed in a state jail. It could also limit cooperation in extradition cases where the suspect flees to West Virginia. Problems begin to arise, they learned, because state firearms laws do not mirror in every respect federal laws and most firearms cases in West Virginia […]

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