US judge refers gun control lawsuit to W.Va. court

CHARLESTON (AP) — A federal judge is directing a lawsuit challenging West Virginia municipal gun control laws to state court.

U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver also dismissed a dozen counts against the city of Charleston from the case brought by the West Virginia Citizens Defense League.

The group and individual gun rights advocates sued Charleston, Dunbar and South Charleston last year. The lawsuit alleges various firearms ordinances are unconstitutional.

Each city bars weapons from property it owns. The lawsuit also targets Charleston’s handgun purchase limit and waiting period ordinances.

Copenhaver’s Sept. 20 ruling concluded that a state court should hear the case first. A federal judge in Martinsburg ruled similarly last year, in a lawsuit filed against that city by the Citizens Defense League.

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