The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest News

March 1, 2013

Thompson tries to lure gun maker to West Virginia

CHARLESTON — As long as he is at the helm, House Speaker Rick Thompson says gun manufacturers needn’t fear any restrictive new laws, such as the one in Maryland prompting Beretta USA to shop around for a new home.

A ban on so-called “assault weapons” moving through the Maryland General Assembly would render some of Beretta’s products unlawful in that state.

For that reason, Thompson rolled out the welcome mat to the company.

“If you are seriously considering moving your headquarters to another location, it would be in your best interest to take a look at West Virginia,” Thompson, D-Wayne, said in a letter to Beretta USA’s executive vice president, Franco Beretta.

Thompson is certainly no stranger to firearms.

Once an MP in the Army, he is a long-time hunter who has consistently supported the rights of West Virginia gun owners.

Thompson assured the Beretta executive that the West Virginia Legislature would never support a law such as the one under consideration in Maryland.

“As you may be aware, West Virginia has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the country, only behind Alaska, Montana, South Dakota and Wyoming,” the speaker said.

“This, combined with the state’s long support of the Second Amendment and our close proximity to your current headquarters, makes us an excellent choice for Beretta USA in your relocation efforts.”

Thompson told the company it would find “a wealth of opportunity to expand and grow” in a state “where the people understand and care about your industry.”

As pressure mounts in the nation’s capital to impose new restrictions on gun ownership, many lawmakers in West Virginia are moving to shore up individual safeguards.

One bill by Delegate Josh Nelson, R-Boone, would take a bold step in forbidding any government entity in the state from enforcing new gun laws coming out of Washington, making it a felony to do so.

Majority Leader Brent Boggs, D-Braxton, seeks to raise the number of states that recognize a West Virginia concealed pistol/revolver permit. Legislation offered by Delegate Ryan Ferns, D-Ohio, would permit the lawful transport and storage of a firearm in a personal vehicle while accessing public areas.

Delegate John Overington, R-Berkeley, wants to allow parents with a concealed permit to be able to enter school property with the firearms in their vehicles. Another concealed proposal, advanced by Delegate Gary Howell, R-Mineral, would let holders of such permits bring firearms locked in vehicles on the Capitol complex.

In a missive to members in the state, the National Rifle Association said, “The Mountaineer State has continued its rich tradition of supporting your Second Amendment rights and hunting and shooting traditions through the introduction of multiple pro-gun bills during its 2013 legislative session.”

— E-mail:


Text Only
Latest News
  • Easter service Sunrise service

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Historic district Uptown Beckley: Historic district may be history

    State historians fear the proposed demolition of three buildings on Neville Street in uptown Beckley could lead to the area being removed from the Historic Register.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Organization keeps tabs on your tax dollars

    Last week, the deadline arrived for citizens across the state and country to pay their 2013 income taxes.
    But how exactly are those federal income tax dollars spent by the government?

    April 21, 2014

  • Report: Rumors about vaccines threat to health

    When 28-year-old Beckley mom Brooke Robinson gave birth to her son AJ four years ago, she was a first-time mom who wanted the best for him.
    Like many of her generation, she turned to the Internet and social media to learn about parenting.

    April 21, 2014

  • Reality show Wyoming native thanks area supporters of reality show

    Imagine living in the primitive “past,” with no showers, a dirt floor, little food and only a fire to stay warm. As you live without electricity and eat basic meals on a hard, wooden bench, a glass wall separates you from “space age” conveniences and comforts like luxury bedding, a user-controlled Jacuzzi and even heated toilet seats.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Human remains found near White Sulphur Springs

    Law enforcement officials are investigating human remains discovered by a local resident near White Sulphur Springs on Friday afternoon, according to Greenbrier County Sheriff Jan Cahill.

    April 20, 2014

  • easterchurch Happy Easter

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ed photo Fayetteville celebration pairs entertainment with environment

    When you’re finished with this newspaper, what are you going to do with it? Will you just chuck it in the trash or will you recycle it? A local celebration has the goal of opening your eyes to what everyone can do to help the environment, from building with junk to clean coal technology.

    April 20, 2014 3 Photos

  • trees cubs Scouts and a scientist plant American chestnuts at Summit

    The American chestnut tree has become hard to find. You might have seen a chestnut tree, but chances are that it was a Chinese chestnut or a Japanese chestnut. By 1950, a blight had killed about 4 billion trees from Maine to Georgia. The American chestnut is mostly gone.

    April 20, 2014 3 Photos

  • FOIA ruling allows government agencies to charge for finding public documents

    The Freedom of Information Act isn’t quite so free after the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals ruled last week that government agencies can charge an hourly fee for the time it takes to find public documents.

    April 20, 2014