WEST virginia Legislature
2016 regular session
House Bill 4492
By Delegates Cadle, Waxman, Ihle, Foster, Phillips, Stansbury, Ellington, Atkinson, R. smith, Eldridge and Ireland
[Introduced February 11, 2016; referred to the committee on Education then Finance.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §18-2-9 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend and reenact §61-7-8 and §61-7-11a of said code, all relating generally to establishing a mandatory course of instruction in firearm safety for high school students generally; requiring the State Board of Education to provide firearm safety instruction in public schools serving high school students; requiring all high school students to complete the class one time; creating an exception and an alternate qualification; permitting children under the age of eighteen to possess and carry a deadly weapon while participating in a firearm safety class; correcting a reference to court jurisdiction and proceedings involving violations by juveniles; and authorizing instructors, assistants and students to possess a deadly weapon on school grounds while participating in a school-administered firearm safety class.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §18-2-9 of the Code of West Virginia,1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that §61-7-8 and §61-7-11a of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
CHAPTER 18. EDUCATION.
ARTICLE 2. STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION.
§18-2-9. Required courses of instruction.
(a) In all public, private, parochial and denominational schools located within this state there shall be given prior to the completion of the eighth grade at least one year of instruction in the history of the State of West Virginia. The schools shall require regular courses of instruction by the completion of the twelfth grade in the history of the United States, in civics, in the Constitution of the United States and in the government of the State of West Virginia for the purpose of teaching, fostering and perpetuating the ideals, principles and spirit of political and economic democracy in America and increasing the knowledge of the organization and machinery of the government of the United States and of the State of West Virginia. The state board shall, with the advice of the state superintendent, prescribe the courses of study covering these subjects for the public schools. It shall be the duty of the officials or boards having authority over the respective private, parochial and denominational schools to prescribe courses of study for the schools under their control and supervision similar to those required for the public schools. To further such study, every high school student eligible by age for voter registration shall be afforded the opportunity to register to vote pursuant to section twenty-two, article two, chapter three of this code.
(b) The state board shall cause to be taught in all of the public schools of this state the subject of health education, including instruction in any of the grades six through twelve as considered appropriate by the county board, on: (1) The prevention, transmission and spread of acquired immune deficiency syndrome and other sexually transmitted diseases; (2) substance abuse, including the nature of alcoholic drinks and narcotics, tobacco products and other potentially harmful drugs, with special instruction as to their effect upon the human system and upon society in general; (3) the importance of healthy eating and physical activity to maintaining healthy weight; and (4) education concerning cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid, including instruction in the care for conscious choking, and recognition of symptoms of drug or alcohol overdose. The course curriculum requirements and materials for the instruction shall be adopted by the state board by rule in consultation with the Department of Health and Human Resources. The state board shall prescribe a standardized health education assessment to be administered within health education classes to measure student health knowledge and program effectiveness.
(c) An opportunity shall be afforded to the parent or guardian of a child subject to instruction in the prevention, transmission and spread of acquired immune deficiency syndrome and other sexually transmitted diseases to examine the course curriculum requirements and materials to be used in the instruction. The parent or guardian may exempt the child from participation in the instruction by giving notice to that effect in writing to the school principal.
(d) After July 1, 2015, the required instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation in subsection (b) of this section shall include at least thirty minutes of instruction for each student prior to graduation on the proper administration of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the psychomotor skills necessary to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The term “psychomotor skills” means the use of hands-on practicing to support cognitive learning. Cognitive-only training does not qualify as “psychomotor skills”. The CPR instruction must be based on an instructional program established by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross or another program which is nationally recognized and uses the most current national evidence!based Emergency Cardiovascular Care guidelines and incorporates psychomotor skills development into the instruction. A licensed teacher is not required to be a certified trainer of cardiopulmonary resuscitation to facilitate, provide or oversee such instruction. The instruction may be given by community members, such as emergency medical technicians, paramedics, police officers, firefighters, licensed nurses and representatives of the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross. These community members are encouraged to provide necessary training and instructional resources such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation kits and other material at no cost to the schools. The requirements of this subsection are minimum requirements. A local school district may offer CPR instruction for longer periods of time and may enhance the curriculum and training components, including, but not limited to, incorporating into the instruction the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED): Provided, That, any instruction that results in a certification being earned must be taught by an authorized CPR/AED instructor.
(e) The State Board of Education shall provide that a class of instruction in safety and proper handling of firearms be taught in the public schools of this state serving students in grades nine, ten, eleven or twelve. All students must complete this class one time within the interval encompassed by grades nine through twelve; however, a student may be exempt from participating in, and completing, this class upon the written request of either parent, or the student’s legal guardian, to the school principal. A student who completes a substantially similar program of instruction as part of a Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program (JROTC) may be deemed by the local Board of Education to have completed this requirement in lieu of attending the school’s designated safety class. The class shall be taught by a law enforcement officer who has been qualified by his or her agency to train the public in firearms safety and handling.
CHAPTER 61. CRIMES AND THEIR PUNISHMENT.
ARTICLE 7. DANGEROUS WEAPONS.
§61-7-8. Possession of deadly weapons by minors; prohibitions.
other provision of this article to the contrary, a person under the age of eighteen
years who is not married or otherwise emancipated shall not possess or carry
concealed or openly any deadly weapon: Provided, That a minor may
possess a firearm upon premises owned by said minor or his or her family or on
the premises of another with the permission of his or her parent or guardian
and in the case of property other than his or her own or that of his or her
family, with the permission of the owner or lessee of such property: Provided, however, That nothing in
this section shall prohibit a minor from possessing a firearm while hunting in
a lawful manner or while traveling from a place where he or she may lawfully possess
a deadly weapon, to a hunting site, and returning to a place where he or she
may lawfully possess such weapon.
A person under the age of eighteen years, who is not married or otherwise emancipated, shall not possess or carry concealed or openly any deadly weapon, except under the following circumstances:
(1) On premises owned by the minor’s family with the permission of his or her parent or legal guardian;
(2) On premises owned by another person with the permission of the owner or lessee of the property and with the permission of the minor’s parent or legal guardian;
(3) While hunting in an otherwise lawful manner;
(4) While traveling from a place where he or she may lawfully possess a deadly weapon, to a hunting site, and returning to a place where he or she may lawfully possess such weapon;
(5) While participating in a class, training course or program of safety instruction in handling and firing a handgun as provided in §18-2-9 or §61-7-4 of this code.
A violation of this section
by a person under the age of eighteen years shall subject the child to the
jurisdiction of the circuit court under the provisions of part seven,
five four, chapter forty-nine of this code, and such
minor may be proceeded against in the same manner as if he or she had committed
an act which if committed by an adult would be a crime, and may be adjudicated
§61-7-11a. Possessing deadly weapons on premises of educational facilities; reports by school principals; suspension of drivers license; possessing deadly weapons on premises housing courts of law and family law courts.
(a) The Legislature finds that the safety and welfare of the citizens of this state are inextricably dependent upon assurances of safety for children attending and persons employed by schools in this state and for persons employed by the judicial department of this state. It is for the purpose of providing assurances of safety that subsections (b), (g) and (h) of this section are enacted as a reasonable regulation of the manner in which citizens may exercise the rights accorded to them pursuant to section twenty-two, article three of the Constitution of the State of West Virginia.
(b)(1) It is unlawful for a person to possess a firearm or other deadly weapon on a school bus as defined in section one, article one, chapter seventeen-a of this code, or in or on a public or private primary or secondary education building, structure, facility or grounds including a vocational education building, structure, facility or grounds where secondary vocational education programs are conducted or at a school-sponsored function.
(2) This subsection does not apply to:
(A) A law-enforcement officer employed by a federal, state, county or municipal law- enforcement agency;
(B) A retired law-enforcement officer who:
(i) Is employed by a state, county or municipal law-enforcement agency;
(ii) Is covered for liability purposes by his or her employer;
(iii) Is authorized by a county board of education and the school principal to serve as security for a school;
(iv) Meets all the requirements to carry a firearm as a qualified retired law-enforcement officer under the Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act of 2004, as amended, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §926C(c); and
(v) Meets all of the requirements for handling and using a firearm established by his or her employer, and has qualified with his or her firearm to those requirements;
(C) A person specifically authorized by the Board of Education of the county or principal of the school where the property is located to conduct programs with valid educational purposes;
(D) A person who, as otherwise permitted by the provisions of this article, possesses an unloaded firearm or deadly weapon in a motor vehicle or leaves an unloaded firearm or deadly weapon in a locked motor vehicle;
(E) Programs or raffles conducted with the approval of the county board of education or school which include the display of unloaded firearms;
(F) The official mascot of
West Virginia University, commonly known as the Mountaineer, acting in his or
her official capacity;
(G) The official mascot of Parkersburg South High School, commonly known as the Patriot, acting in his or her official capacity; or
(H) A teacher or assistant to a teacher preparing for or conducting a class on firearm safety within or on the grounds of a high school under the authority of the local Board of Education, and a high school student during his or her attendance in the firearm safety class.
(3) A person violating this subsection is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in a state correctional facility for a definite term of years of not less than two years nor more than ten years, or fined not more than $5,000, or both fined and imprisoned.
(c) A school principal subject to the authority of the State Board of Education who discovers a violation of subsection (b) of this section shall report the violation as soon as possible to:
(1) The State Superintendent of Schools. The State Board of Education shall keep and maintain these reports and may prescribe rules establishing policy and procedures for making and delivering the reports as required by this subsection; and
(2) The appropriate local office of the Division of Public Safety, county sheriff or municipal police agency.
(d) In addition to the methods of disposition provided by article five, chapter forty-nine of this code, a court which adjudicates a person who is fourteen years of age or older as delinquent for a violation of subsection (b) of this section may order the Division of Motor Vehicles to suspend a driver's license or instruction permit issued to the person for a period of time as the court considers appropriate, not to extend beyond the person's nineteenth birthday. If the person has not been issued a driver's license or instruction permit by this state, a court may order the Division of Motor Vehicles to deny the person's application for a license or permit for a period of time as the court considers appropriate, not to extend beyond the person's nineteenth birthday. A suspension ordered by the court pursuant to this subsection is effective upon the date of entry of the order. Where the court orders the suspension of a driver's license or instruction permit pursuant to this subsection, the court shall confiscate any driver's license or instruction permit in the adjudicated person's possession and forward to the Division of Motor Vehicles.
(e)(1) If a person eighteen years of age or older is convicted of violating subsection (b) of this section, and if the person does not act to appeal the conviction within the time periods described in subdivision (2) of this subsection, the person's license or privilege to operate a motor vehicle in this state shall be revoked in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(2) The clerk of the court in which the person is convicted as described in subdivision (1) of this subsection shall forward to the commissioner a transcript of the judgment of conviction. If the conviction is the judgment of a magistrate court, the magistrate court clerk shall forward the transcript when the person convicted has not requested an appeal within twenty days of the sentencing for the conviction. If the conviction is the judgment of a circuit court, the circuit clerk shall forward a transcript of the judgment of conviction when the person convicted has not filed a notice of intent to file a petition for appeal or writ of error within thirty days after the judgment was entered.
(3) If, upon examination of the transcript of the judgment of conviction, the commissioner determines that the person was convicted as described in subdivision (1) of this subsection, the commissioner shall make and enter an order revoking the person's license or privilege to operate a motor vehicle in this state for a period of one year or, in the event the person is a student enrolled in a secondary school, for a period of one year or until the person's twentieth birthday, whichever is the greater period. The order shall contain the reasons for the revocation and the revocation period. The order of suspension shall advise the person that because of the receipt of the court's transcript, a presumption exists that the person named in the order of suspension is the same person named in the transcript. The commissioner may grant an administrative hearing which substantially complies with the requirements of the provisions of section two, article five-a, chapter seventeen-c of this code upon a preliminary showing that a possibility exists that the person named in the notice of conviction is not the same person whose license is being suspended. The request for hearing shall be made within ten days after receipt of a copy of the order of suspension. The sole purpose of this hearing is for the person requesting the hearing to present evidence that he or she is not the person named in the notice. If the commissioner grants an administrative hearing, the commissioner shall stay the license suspension pending the commissioner's order resulting from the hearing.
(4) For the purposes of this subsection, a person is convicted when he or she enters a plea of guilty or is found guilty by a court or jury.
(f)(1) It is unlawful for a parent, guardian or custodian of a person less than eighteen years of age who knows that the person is in violation of subsection (b) of this section or has reasonable cause to believe that the person's violation of subsection (b) is imminent, to fail to immediately report his or her knowledge or belief to the appropriate school or law-enforcement officials.
(2) A person violating this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $1,000, or shall be confined in jail not more than one year, or both fined and confined.
(g)(1) It is unlawful for a person to possess a firearm or other deadly weapon on the premises of a court of law, including family courts.
(2) This subsection does not apply to:
(A) A law-enforcement officer acting in his or her official capacity; and
(B) A person exempted from the provisions of this subsection by order of record entered by a court with jurisdiction over the premises or offices.
(3) A person violating this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $1,000, or shall be confined in jail not more than one year, or both fined and confined.
(h)(1) It is unlawful for a person to possess a firearm or other deadly weapon on the premises of a court of law, including family courts, with the intent to commit a crime.
(2) A person violating this subsection is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in a state correctional facility for a definite term of years of not less than two years nor more than ten years, or fined not more than $5,000, or both fined and imprisoned.
(i) Nothing in this section may be construed to be in conflict with the provisions of federal law.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require and facilitate a firearm safety course for all secondary education students in public schools.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.