CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A unanimous West Virginia Legislature wants the government to face lawsuits if it ever tries to confiscate guns or ammunition during declared states of emergency. The bill receiving final approval Thursday updates a 2007 law meant to protect firearm ownership during such times. The Senate backed off proposed changes to the House-passed measure after delegates objected. Spokeswoman Amy Shuler Goodwin said Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will sign the legislation. A number of states enacted such laws after New Orleans police confiscated guns while trying to restore order following 2005's Hurricane Katrina. The National Rifle Association has championed such measures. Lawmakers say the group endorsed the West Virginia bill.
The updated law would apply both to federal- and state-declared emergencies.