This has not seriously eroded anyone's Second Amendment rights, but it has impeded bulk purchases by criminals.
The West Virginia Municipal League opposes Lane's attempt to force cities to abandon their ordinances if they want more home rule powers. League President Lisa Dooley contends gun control and home rule don't belong in the same piece of legislation. She's right.
There is some sense to the contention that gun laws should be uniform statewide. The state has already asserted exclusive authority, for example, to regulate gas drilling and natural resource extraction, quelling municipal attempts to ban fracking within city limits.
Law can't vary every few miles down the road.
But the home rule initiative, crabbed as it is, would free more municipalities to do what the first four cities have done - streamline business rules, reduce blight, and improve their financial condition.
Lane's insistence on throwing the dispute over municipal gun ordinances into the mix is an unnecessary complication.
The Legislature should pass the home rule measure without the gun amendment.