No one found any fault with this firearm.
Senate Doorkeeper Tony Gallo pulled back the white cloth Friday, revealing an 1819 model of John Hall’s flintlock, one of only three that survived over the past two centuries.
A Senate resolution, passed unanimously, aims to make that rifle the official firearm of West Virginia.
On display directly in front of Senate President Jeffrey Kessler’s podium, the rifle was borrowed for the occasion by Majority Leader John Unger, D-Berkeley, from the National Park Service in Harpers Ferry.
“I had to sign my life away just to bring it down here but assured them that they would get a return,” Unger quipped.
No one is sure, but Unger said it is believed the Hall Flintlock is one of the guns found on West Virginia’s official seal, directly at the foot of the two Mountaineers.
Hall produced the weapon at the National Armory in Harpers Ferry for the U.S. Army.
One year later, Unger explained, Hall landed a contract to deliver 100 of them to the Army, since the government was keenly interested in his revolutionary concept for interchangeable parts.
A second government contract in 1819 found Hall with an order to produce 1,000 rifles, his being the first breech-loader ever adopted by our nation’s military, Unger said.
Unlike other firearms of the day, the majority leader noted, one needn’t pour powder through the muzzle and down the barrel and ram the bullet inside to prepare it for firing.
“Hall’s rifle had a block in the breech and near the operator’s body that could be lifted out and allow the operator to insert the powder and the ball,” Unger said.
“Therefore, it was easier and faster to load. It saw action in several frontier wars and was still in use during the Civil War.”
Unger found it appropriate to adopt the Hall Model, which is fired at least once a year at Harpers Ferry, as the state firearm, since West Virginia this year observes its 150th birthday.
In other action, the Senate passed four bills on equal 34-0 votes.
Sen. Gregory Tucker, D-Nicholas, said SB159 allows the owner of real property to pass the estate directly to a beneficiary upon death and the transferee has the right to reject and not accept it.
A second bill, SB368, replaces the phrase “infamous crime” with “felony” for legal grounds to nullify a marriage when one partner is unaware of a spouse’s conviction.
Palumbo said SB383 lets family court judges assign counsel if an indigent litigant is facing a possible jail sentence. And, SB427, provides technical cleanup in the State Code with regard to conducting searches of motor vehicles by law enforcement officers.
Among bills moved up for a vote Monday is one that forbids anyone under 18 to use commercial tanning beds.
No one found any fault with this firearm.
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Family members charged in alleged mob beating
A local family allegedly worked together to beat a man with sticks, boards and metal pipes, according to a criminal complaint from Monroe County Magistrate Court.
Rain, rain, come and stay; crops need you to survive another day
A local news anchor whined on the air this week about getting caught in a 10-minute downpour on her way to work. She complained as the weather forecaster was getting ready to do his bit. He assured her the chance for rain was small and sunshine would reign.
Storm recovery work gets started
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Art group to host Jazz Takeover 2014
Beckley Art Group will host a free music event Thursday — Jazz Takeover 2014 with the Jenny Wilson Trio.
VAMC estimates line break will cost $2 million
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Furry friends available for adoption at Adopt-A-Palooza
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- Calendar — Saturday, July 26, 2014
One Hatfield, two actors
If you shake hands with the cast and crew at Theatre West Virginia after the show, don’t worry if you think you’re seeing double.
Jacob and James Cline, 12-year-old twins, are a part of the team this year, assisting with props and portraying Little Troy Hatfield.
Construction begins on Meadow River Rail Trail
Construction has finally begun on the Meadow River Rail Trail, a recreation project undertaken in a unique partnership between Greenbrier and Fayette counties.
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