West Virginia Lawmakers OK Musket For High School Mascot

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A musket-toting West Virginia high school mascot may soon be able to attend away games worry-free.

The House of Delegates voted 96-1 Friday to exempt the Parkersburg South High Patriot from the firearms ban for school property.

The Senate had approved the measure earlier. It heads to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.

State law already allows for West Virginia University's Mountaineer mascot to carry and fire a muzzle-loader.

Parkersburg South officials have sought the same for their school's mascot for several years.

Parkersburg South mascots have fired the gun at home games since 1967. School officials say that only the mascot handles the musket, after being properly trained to load and fire it.

Delegate Danny Wells voted against Friday's bill. The Kanawha County Democrat has criticized efforts to ease gun laws.