(Charleston) A bill signed into law this session allows correctional officers to carry guns, but not around inmates.
After successful completion of firearms training correctional officers will receive a certificate allowing them to carry division-issued firearms during the performance of official duties and when traveling to and from work, which does not include carrying firearms in jails or near inmates.
Del. Tom Fast (R – Fayette) was a sponsor of the bill. He explained the need for the bill saying, “Sometimes [corrections officers] may be outside the facility and encounter a former prisoner or a former jail inmate. This authorizes them to be able to protect themselves in those situations.”
Corrections officers must also complete continuing training in the form of an annual firearms course.