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W.Va. House votes to bolster gun rights in emergencies

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginians could sue if the government tries to confiscate their guns or ammunition during declared states of emergency, through a measure advancing this legislative session.

A unanimous House of Delegates voted Friday to clarify a 2007 law meant to protect firearm ownership during such times. The bill heads to the Senate.

A number of states enacted such laws after New Orleans police confiscated guns while trying to restore order following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The National Rifle Association has championed such measures. House Judiciary Chairman Tim Miley said the NRA endorsed Friday's follow-up bill.

Miley's committee advanced the bill last week, after amending it so the law applies both to federal- and state-declared emergencies.

House Speaker Rick Thompson sponsored the bill along with Miley and five other Democrats.


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