West Virginia law provides that:
(a) The lawful design, marketing, manufacture or sale of firearms or ammunition to the public is not an unreasonably dangerous activity and does not constitute a nuisance per se;
(b) To the extent the Constitution of this state and the United States protect citizens’ rights to keep and bear arms, the Legislature finds and declares that it is within the strict prerogative of its own authority, and not the authority of any county or municipality, to determine whether any manufacturer, dealer or seller of firearms has engaged in any act or omission that would create a cognizable action for damages, injunction or otherwise.1
State law also provides that:
The authority to bring suit and the right to recover against any firearms or ammunition manufacturer, seller, trade association or dealer of firearms by or on behalf of any county or municipality in this state for damages, abatement or injunctive relief resulting from or relating to the design, manufacture, marketing, or sale of firearms or ammunition to the public is reserved exclusively to the state: Provided, That nothing contained in this article may prohibit a county or municipality from bringing an action for breach of contract or warranty as to firearms or ammunition purchased by the county or municipality.2
A person may not maintain a nuisance action for noise against a shooting range located in the vicinity of that person’s property if the range was established when the person acquired the property.3 If there is a substantial change in use of the range after the person acquires the property, the person may maintain a nuisance action if the action is brought within two years from the beginning of the substantial change.4 A person who owns property in the vicinity of a shooting range that was established after the person acquired the property may maintain a nuisance action for noise against the range only if the action is brought within four years after establishment of the range or two years after a substantial change in use of the range.5 If there has been no shooting activity at a range for two years, resumption of shooting is considered establishment of a new range.6
For detailed information about government and private party lawsuits against the gun industry, the status of litigation involving gun industry immunity statutes in various states, or pending gun industry immunity legislation, visit the Brady Center’s Legal Action Project and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence’s Gun Industry Immunity page.
See our Immunity Statutes / Manufacturer Litigation policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.