Bill allowing concealed carry on some campuses passes Senate, heads to House

Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 2:39 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va (WDTV) - A bill that would allow people who have a state concealed-carry license to bring their weapons on campus at public universities has passed the Senate.

Senate Bill 10, also known as the Campus Self-Defense Act, passed the Senate on Tuesday by a vote of 29-4. Sen. Caputo (D-Marion) opposed the bill with Sen. Plymale (D-Wayne), Sen. Woelfel (D-Cabell) and Sen. Maroney (R-Marshall). Sen. Boley (R-Pleasants) was absent for the vote.

While supporters of the bill said it allows students to act in self-defense, opponents said their concerns lie in students with mental health issues or who may be at an increased risk of suicide.

WVU President Gordon Gee and Marshall University President Brad Smith have both expressed 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.”

If the bill is passed, it would take effect on July 1, 2024 and allow concealed carry of handguns on campuses for those with permits.

The measure does include a number of exceptions for events with more than 1,000 spectators, campus daycares and residence halls.

The bill also requires schools to provide a safe for those weapons in residence halls.

The bill now heads to the House.