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West Virginia has shamefully weak gun laws and one of the highest gun death rates in the United States. Lawmakers must take immediate action to reverse this deadly trend.

The state does not require individuals to undergo a background check or obtain a permit to carry a loaded, concealed firearm in public. In 2020, West Virginia had the 14th-highest gun death rate in the country and exported crime guns at the third-highest rate. Basic steps West Virginia could take to save lives from gun violence include requiring a background check and waiting period before each gun purchase and repealing its dangerous permitless carry law.

What West Virginia Does Well

  • Domestic violence gun laws
  • Certain disarming procedures

What West Virginia Is Missing

  • Universal background checks
  • Gun owner licensing
  • Extreme risk protection orders
  • Assault weapon restrictions
  • Large capacity magazine ban
  • Waiting periods
  • Concealed carry permit
  • Open carry regulations
  • Child access prevention laws



The data is clear: states with stronger gun laws have less gun violence. See how your state compares in our annual ranking.

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We’re in this together. To build a safer America—one where children and parents in every neighborhood can learn, play, work, and worship without fear of gun violence—we need you standing beside us in this fight.