Mixed Martial Arts Bill clears West Virginia House

by Jared Hunt | source: cbs59.com
 

The West Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill Friday legalizing mixed-martial arts in the state amid objections from lawmakers who believe the sport is too violent.

By Walt Williams
Email | Other Stories by Walt Williams

CHARLESTON -- Legislation legalizing mixed-martial arts cleared a major hurdle Friday when the West Virginia House of Delegates voted 55-37 to pass it and send it to the Senate.

MMA currently is prohibited in West Virginia despite being legal in a majority of states. Critics say it is unsporting and too violent, sometimes comparing it to the gladiatorial combat of ancient Rome.

Several lawmakers also are upset the provision legalizing MMA was amended into a separate bill in committee rather than being brought forward in its own legislation.

Lawmakers held a lengthy debate Thursday about the bill, so Friday's discussion was much shorter. Only Delegate Danny Wells, D-Kanawha, spoke out against it, saying that West Virginians had a peaceful nature that resulted in three things: a low crime rate, no capital punishment and a ban on MMA.

"When you vote think of the blood that will flow when this bill passes," he said. "Think of the color red, the color of blood, and vote no."

Wells' appeal wasn't enough to sway a majority of lawmakers, who voted in favor of the bill's passage. It now heads to the Senate.

The bill is is House Bill 2562.

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tags: Legislation   Regulation   Legalization   West Viriginia   



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Recent Comments »

5 for fighting site profile image  

2/4/11 7:56 PM by 5 for fighting

Gonna be a close vote in the Senate but its one step closer. Keep your fingers crossed fellas.

theOutlaw site profile image  

2/4/11 6:17 PM by theOutlaw

"When you vote think of the money that will flow when this bill passes," he said. "Think of the color green, the color of cold hard cash that can be put towards education and healthcare, and vote yes."Where there is authority, there is no freedom. - Peter Kropotkin

Macedawgg site profile image  

2/4/11 2:30 PM by Macedawgg

 Geoff Varney The bill passed in the House today. Now on to the Senate. Please keep contacting your Senators. It will be a much closer vote here with some senators who are doctors. Needs to get through the Senate now.

WVSUBGRAPPLIN site profile image  

2/4/11 1:18 PM by WVSUBGRAPPLIN

Victory!! HB2562 passed

Jonny Quest site profile image  

2/3/11 7:49 PM by Jonny Quest

I hope it passes

LBH_RN site profile image  

2/3/11 7:07 PM by LBH_RN

I was born and raised in WV and I know we have a very corrupt governing body in Charleston. I'm sure the only thing the legislature is concerned with is how they will profit from the MMA venues. The "toughman" contests are big money in the southern portion of the state because all redneck hardasses love to brag. The irony of the safety issue is that no physical is required to enter and rarely is any health official other than an EMT w/ keys to a nearby ambulance at the events. So safety is def. not the issue, its all about what crooked event coordinator will they get to run the venues so all the politicians can get a little bit more wealthy.http://www.sherdog.com/news/r/Wild-West-Virginia-A-Look-Inside-a-Commission-24554