Proposed bill would allow concealed carry on some campuses

Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 4:35 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - Senate Bill 10 is known as the Campus Self-Defense Act. It was introduced by Upshur County delegate Carl Martin.

The bill would allow only people who have a state concealed-carry license to bring their weapons on campus at public universities, like WVU and Marshall.

Gordon Gee and Brad Smith, the presidents of those universities, are expressing their opposition to the bill.

They said in a letter to the West Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee, “We believe that our boards of governors are best suited to decide whether guns should be permitted on campus. We therefore do not support statewide campus carry.”

Some WVU students said there are pros and cons to the bill. It could be a good thing, but it could also backfire.

“Criminals are going to get guns whether you allow them to or not. So, I think it would be a good thing to allow students to carry to be able to protect themselves from the criminals, but at the same time that could lead to an up rise. So, you have to weigh the pros and cons and see what you think and figure out the best course of action.”

Jonas Burton also has mixed feelings about it.

“It’s concerning being around so many people in one area that could be an easy target for someone who would have violent intentions, and I think it would be good for responsible students to carry.”

Other students said they agree it would be a good idea to protect themselves, but others think it could do more harm than good.

If the bill passes, Gee and Smith are asking for it to include safeguards related to campus carry. For example, still prohibiting guns at large events and in certain parts of campus dorms along with making sure only people with concealed carry permits are armed.

While it’s still making its way through the legislature, Gee and Smith are also asking to delay putting the bill into effect until July 1, 2024 to educate and prepare faculty, staff, students, and their families.