CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia Senate President Jeffrey Kessler says a bill that would eliminate municipal gun restrictions in four cities is unlikely to proceed.
The bill passed the House with overwhelming support, and recent rallies have urged its passage in the Senate. It would create uniform state gun laws and nullify more restrictive gun ordinances in Charleston, South Charleston, Dunbar and Martinsburg.
The bill has been assigned to the Senate Committee on Government Organization. Committee Chairman Herb Snyder said he has received about 10 threatening phone calls and three emails related to the bill's passage.
"They said, 'We're going to drive by your house,' " the Jefferson County Democrat told The Associated Press last week. "Another one was, 'If the bill doesn't pass, you won't go home from Charleston.' It's quite threatening."
Kessler said Tuesday that those threats were part of the reason for stalling the bill.
"Not on my watch, not ever," Kessler said of the threats, calling them way out of line and overzealous.
Charleston Mayor Danny Jones, an outspoken opponent of the bill, commended Kessler for standing up against the threats.
"I think that if you allow yourself to be bullied in the schoolyard, you're probably going to be bullied every day," he said. "I think it was the right thing to do, and I'm very grateful for it."