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1925 W.Va. Acts 25-30, 1st Extraordinary Sess., An Act to Amend and Re-Enact Section Seven . . . Relating to Offenses Against the Peace; Providing for the Granting and Revoking of Licenses and Permits Respecting the Use, Transportation and Possession of Weapons and Fire Arms. . . , ch. 3, § 7, pt. a.

Section 7 (a). If any person, without a state license therefor, carry about his person any revolver or other pistol, dirk, bowie-knife, slung shot, razor, billy, metallic or other false knuckles, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon of like kind or character, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof be confined in the county jail for a period of not less than six nor more than twelve months for the first offense; but upon conviction of the same person for the second offense in this state, he shall be guilty of a felony and be confined in the penitentiary not less than one or more than five years, and in either case fined not less than fifty nor more than two hundred dollars, in the discretion of the court; and it shall be the duty of the prosecuting attorney in all cases to ascertain whether or not the charge made by the grand jury is the first or second offense, and if it shall be the second offense, it shall be so stated in the indictment returned, and the prosecuting attorney shall introduce the record evidence before the trial court of said second offense, and shall not be permitted to use his discretion in charging said second offense nor in introducing evidence to prove the same on the trial; provided, that boys or girls under the age of eighteen years, upon the second conviction, may, at the discretion of the court, be sent to the industrial homes for boys and girls, respectively, of the state. Any person desiring to obtain a state license to carry any such weapon within one or more counties in this state shall first publish a notice in some newspaper, published in the county in which he resides, setting forth his name, residence and occupation, and that on a certain day he will apply to the circuit court of his county for such state license; and after the publication of such notice for at least ten days before said application is made and at the time stated in said notice upon application to said court, it may grant such person a license in the following manner, to-wit: The applicant shall file with said court his application in writing, duly verified, which said application shall show: First: That said applicant is a citizen of the United States of America. Second: That such applicant has been a bona fide resident of this state for at least one year next prior to the date of such application, and of the county sixty days next prior thereto. Third: That such applicant is over twenty-one years of age; that he is a person of good moral character, of temperate habits, not addicted to intoxication, and has not been convicted of a felony nor of any offense involving the use on his part of such weapon in an unlawful manner. Fourth: The purpose or purposes for which the applicant desires to carry such weapon and the necessity therefor and the county or counties in which said license is desired to be effective. Upon the hearing of such application the court shall hear evidence upon all matters stated in such application and upon any other matter deemed pertinent by the court, and if such court be satisfied from the proof that there is good reason and cause for such person to carry such weapon, and all of the other conditions of this act be complied with, said circuit court or the judge thereof in vacation, may grant said license for such purposes, and no other, as said a circuit court may set out in the said license (and the word “court” as used in this act shall include the circuit judge thereof, acting in vacation); but before the said license shall be effective such person shall pay to the sheriff, and the court shall so certify in its order granting the license, the sum of twenty dollars, and shall also file a bond with the clerk of said court, in the penalty of three thousand five hundred dollars, with good security, signed by a responsible person or persons, or by some surety company, authorized to do business in this state, conditioned that such applicant will not carry such weapon except in accordance with his said application and as authorized by the court, and that he will pay all costs and damages accruing to any person by the accidental discharge or improper, negligent or illegal use of said weapon or weapons. Any such license granted after this act becomes effective shall be good for one year, unless sooner revoked, as hereinafter provided, and be co-extensive with the county in which granted, and such other county or counties as the court shall designate in the order granting such license; except that regularly appointed deputy sheriffs having license shall be permitted to carry such revolver or other weapons at any place, within the state, while in the performance of their duties as such deputy sheriffs and except that any such license granted to regularly appointed railway police shall be co-extensive with the state, and all license fees collected hereunder shall be paid by the sheriff and accounted for to the auditor as other license taxes are collected and paid, and the state tax commissioner shall prepare all suitable forms for licenses and bonds and certificates showing that such license has been granted and to do anything else in the premises to protect the state and see to the enforcement of this act. The clerk of the court shall immediately after license is granted as aforesaid, furnish the superintendent of the department of public safety a certified copy of the order of the court granting such license, for which service the clerk shall be paid a fee of two dollars which shall be taxed as cost in the proceeding; within thirty days after this act becomes effective it shall be the duty of the clerks of each court in this state having jurisdiction to issue pistol licenses to certify to the superintendent of the department of public safety a list of all such licenses issued in his county. Provided, that nothing herein shall prevent any person from carrying any such weapon, in good faith and not for a felonious purpose, upon his own premises, nor shall anything herein prevent a person from carrying any such weapon (unloaded) from the place of purchase to his home or place of residence, or to a place of repair and back to his home or residence; but nothing herein shall be construed to authorize any employee of any person, firm or corporation doing business in this state to carry on or about the premises of such employer any such pistol, or other weapon mentioned in this act for which a license is herein required, without having first obtained the license and given the bond as herein provided; and, provided, further, that nothing herein shall prevent agents, messengers and other employees of express companies doing business as common carriers, whose duties require such agents, messengers and other employees to have the care, custody or protection of money, valuables and other property for such express companies, from carrying any such weapon while actually engaged in such duties, or in doing anything reasonably incident to such duties; provided, such express company shall execute a continuing bond in the penalty of thirty thousand dollars, payable unto the state of West Virginia, and with security to be approved by the secretary of state of the state of West Virginia, conditioned that said express company will pay all damages, accruing to anyone by the accidental discharge or improper, negligent or illegal discharge or use of such weapon or weapons by such agent, messenger or other employee while actually engaged in such duties for such express company, in doing anything that is reasonably incident to such duties; but the amount which may be recovered for breach of such condition shall not exceed the sum of three thousand five hundred dollars in any one case, and such bond shall be filed with and held by the said secretary of state, for the purpose aforesaid, but upon the trial of any cause for the recovery of damages upon said bond, the burden of proof shall be upon such express company to establish that such agent, messenger or other employee was not actually employed in such duties for such express company nor in doing anything that was reasonably incident to such duties at the time such damages were sustained; and, provided further, that nothing herein shall prevent railroad police officers duly appointed and qualified under authority of section thirty-one of chapter one hundred forty-five of Barnes’ code or duly qualified under the laws of any other state, from carrying any such weapon while actually engaged in their duties or in doing anything reasonably incident to such duties; provided, such railroad company shall execute a continuing bond in the penalty of ten thousand dollars payable unto the state of West Virginia and with security to be approved by the secretary of state of the state of West Virginia conditioned that said railroad company will pay all damages accruing to anyone by the accidental discharge or improper, negligent or illegal discharge or use of such weapon or weapons by such railroad special police officer whether appointed in this or some other state while actually engaged in such duties for such railroad company, in doing anything that is reasonably incident to such duties, but the amount which may be recovered for breach of such condition shall not exceed the sum of three thousand five hundred dollars in any one case, and such bond shall be filed with and held by the said secretary of state for the purpose aforesaid but upon the trial of any cause for the recovery of damages upon said bond, the burden of proof shall be upon such railroad company to establish that such railroad police officer was not actually employed in such duties for such railroad company nor in doing anything that was reasonably incident to such duties at the time such damages were sustained; and provided, further, that in case of riot, public danger and emergency, a justice of the peace, or other person issuing a warrant, may authorize a special constable and his posse whose names shall be set forth in said warrant, to carry weapons for the purpose of executing a process, and a sheriff in such cases may authorize a deputy or posse to carry weapons, but the justice shall write in his docket the cause and reasons for such authority and the name of the person, or persons, so authorized, and index the same, and the sheriff or other officer shall write out and file with the clerk of the county court the reasons and causes for such authority and the name, or names of the persons so authorized, and the same shall always be open to public inspection, and such authority shall authorize such special constable, deputies and posses to carry weapons in good faith only for the specific purposes and times named in such authority, and upon the trial of every indictment the jury shall inquire into the good faith of the person attempting to defend such indictment under the authority granted by any such justice, sheriff or other officer, and any such person or persons so authorized shall be personally liable for the injury caused to any person by the negligent or unlawful use of any such weapon or weapons. It shall be the duty of all ministerial officers, consisting of the justices of the peace, notaries public and other conservators of the peace of this state, to report to the prosecuting attorney of the county the names of all persons guilty of violating this section, and any person willfully failing so to do, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not exceeding two hundred dollars, and shall, moreover, be liable to removal from office for such willful failure; and it shall likewise be the duty of every person having knowledge of the violation of this act, to report the same to the prosecuting attorney, and to freely and fully give evidence concerning the same, and any one failing so to do, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be fined not exceeding one hundred dollars; provided, further, that nothing herein contained shall be so construed as to prohibit sheriffs, their regularly appointed deputies, who actually collect taxes in each county, and all constables in their respective counties and districts, and all regularly appointed police officers of their respective cities, towns or villages, all jailors and game protectors who have been duly appointed as such, and members of the department of public safety of this state, from carrying such weapons as they are now authorized by law to carry, who shall have given bond in the penalty of not less than three thousand five hundred dollars, conditioned for the faithful performance of their respective duties, which said officers shall be liable upon their said official bond, for the damages done by the unlawful or careless use of any such weapon or weapons, whether such bond is so conditioned or not. It shall be unlawful for any person armed with a pistol, gun, or other dangerous or deadly weapon, whether licensed to carry same or not, to carry, expose, brandish, or use, such weapon in a way or manner to cause, or threaten, a breach of the peace. Any person violating this provision of this act shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction, shall be fined not less than fifty nor more than three hundred dollars or imprisoned in the county jail not less than thirty nor more than ninety days, or be punished by both fine and imprisonment in the discretion of the court. Any circuit court granting any such license to carry any of the weapons mentioned in this act, the governor, or the superintendent of the department of public safety, with the consent of the governor, may, for any cause deemed sufficient by said court, or by the governor or by the superintendent of the department of public safety with the approval of the governor aforesaid, as the case may be, revoke any such license to carry a pistol or other weapon mentioned in this act for which a license is required, and immediate notice of such revocation shall be given such licensee in person, by registered mail or in the same manner as provided by law for the service of other notices, and no person whose license has been so revoked shall be re-licensed within one year thereafter; provided, that the authority so revoking such license may, after a hearing, sooner reinstate such licensee.