CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia legislative leaders are denouncing a handful of possible threats targeting lawmakers since the Senate received a House-passed measure last week that would repeal gun control ordinances in four cities around the state.
Senate Government Organization Chairman Herb Snyder on Monday said his office has received around 10 phone calls and three emails that he believed crossed a line.
"They said, 'We're going to drive by your house,'" the Jefferson County Democrat said. "Another one was, 'If the bill doesn't pass, you won't go home from Charleston.' It's quite threatening."
Snyder said these messages have been among hundreds fielded by his office and others urging immediate passage of the House repeal bill.
"It's been a voluminous number of calls, pro-gun calls, but some of them are quite nasty and a small amount of them are threatening," Snyder said. "I mostly feel bad for my staff and other senators' staff."
Information about these contacts was provided to Capitol Police on Thursday, Snyder said. Deputy Director Kevin Foreman, the department spokesman, said the matter is under investigation but declined to comment Friday.
Senate President Jeff Kessler said he had not fielded any threats firsthand but decried such tactics.
"Historically, that has not been a productive way to get things done around here. I won't tolerate it," said Kessler, a Marshall County Democrat. "People can participate in the process, but there's a right way to communicate with your elected officials and there's a wrong way. Threats will get you nowhere."