Written by WTRF
Everyone from Hancock County Sheriff Ralph Fletcher, to gun owners, to sportsman club members, got involved in the heated discussion, where they covered topics from who should be allowed to carry guns to how to protect children in schools.
West Virginia has the most gun owners but the lowest crime rate. That was just one of the facts McKinley brought up during the roundtable discussion.
“I’m suspicious that this gun issue is another manifestation of the big difference between big cities and rural America," McKinley said.
This discussion led the group into their next topic about how mental health should correlate with who can own a gun and the privacy laws when it comes to giving out medical information.
“They’re able to find out that someone had mental disorders and probably shouldn't have been allowed to purchase? Why? They were able to get the information out but we can’t get it off them," said Fletcher.
Another sensitive topic was whether teachers should carry guns in school to protect children where many shootings have occurred.
Butch Mastrontoni, a gun shop owner, said, “Our most precious resource and our future is our children, but yet often times why is it a perpetrator can shoot a window out and walk through?”
At the end of the meeting, longtime gun owner Larry Dotson encouraged everyone at the meeting to get involved in the “West Virginia Citizens Defense League,” whose goal is to keep the 2nd Amendment alive.
McKinley said the purpose of his visit was to make sure that he's not missing any of the issues that counties like Hancock are facing.