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Power Grab: Charleston eager to take away local control

State Sen. Rupie Phillips, R-Logan, may have thought he was scoring extra points with a little distraction when he told another media outlet “I think this is a very good chance for us to STAND OUR GROUND (emphasis ours) on our 2nd Amendment rights,” while discussing Senate Joint Resolution 1 last week.

SJR 1 is grandly titled “Protection of the Right to Bear Arms Amendment.” It would amend the state constitution to prohibit “county or municipal governments from enacting ordinances, acts, resolutions, or rules that are contrary to, or more restrictive than, state law governing the sale, transfer, possession, use, storage, taxation, registration, licensing, or carrying of firearms, ammunition, or firearm accessories.”

Here we go again. Another effort by so-called conservatives to try to keep the elected officials of the other governments in this state from doing what they believe is right for their constituents. It has absolutely nothing to do with protecting the 2nd Amendment. Though, it should be pointed out our state Senate Judiciary Committee passed FOUR gun measures in about an hour Friday. One would think they have no more pressing matters to address.

SJR 1 is sponsored by a predictable cast of characters: Sens. Eric Tarr, R-Putnam; Patricia Rucker, R-Jefferson; Phillips; Patrick Martin, R-Lewis; Amy Grady, R-Mason; Rollan Roberts, R-Raleigh; Bill Hamilton, R-Upshur; Robert Karnes, R-Randolph; Michael Maroney, R-Marshall; Randy Smith, R-Tucker; Jack Woodrum, R-Summers; Mark Maynard, R-Wayne and Michael Azinger, R-Wood.

Many of the names of those who appear to have clamored to be part of this resolution can be found on other, similar efforts to expand and centralize government — to take control away from ordinary West Virginians and put it in Charleston.

Perhaps they are hoping you won’t notice this one, because they’ve dressed it up as a gun rights bill. They are wrong, of course. What this bunch has set forth to do time and again this session is expand the bureaucracy and make sure you know they don’t trust your judgment in electing local officials.

When we look for legislation and discussion that will give us hope, they tell us we don’t know what’s good for us.

Voters will not forget that.

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