West Virginia Campus Carry Bill Makes Progress in the Senate
West Virginia looks to be the next state to pass concealed carry on campus. In the middle of January, the Senate Judiciary Committee recommended Senate Bill 10, the Campus Self Defense Act, for passage. In effect, the bill was sent to the full Senate for consideration. SB 10 would do away with college and university firearm bans and let students carry a concealed handgun on campus provided that they hold a current, valid concealed carry license, starting on July 1, 2024.
SB 10 would ban the state Higher Education Policy Commission, the Community and Technical College System of West Virginia or college/university governing boards from putting limitations on concealed carry on university/college grounds.
According to West Virginia’s News, exceptions for this law include prohibiting concealed carry “at organized events at stadiums and arenas with more than 1,000 spectators, daycare facilities on campus, areas used by law enforcement, facilities with armed personnel and metal detectors, at formal disciplinary and grievance hearings, sole occupancy offices, at primary or secondary school-sponsored events on a college campus, at private functions, laboratories and areas where patient care or mental health services are being provided.”
In addition, the bill bans concealed carry on-campus residence halls, with exception of common areas such as dining areas, lounges, and study halls.
Per pro-Second Amendment group Students for Concealed Carry, 11 states allow for some type of campus carry as of 2020. By contrast, 16 states ban concealed carry on campus. The remaining 23 states grant universities and colleges the power to craft their own rules concerning concealed carry.
Since passing Constitutional Carry in 2016, West Virginia has established itself as one of the more pro-gun states in the nation. It is currently ranked in 19th place in Guns & Ammo magazine’s best states for gun owners rankings. By passing campus carry it will boost its pro-gun profile.
The fact is that campuses are often the preferred targets for maniacs due to the large concentration of individuals who frequent them and also the gun-free nature of these facilities. There’s nothing magical about university institutions with regards to guns. People normally carry handguns at stores, restaurants, public libraries, etc. By prohibiting carry at educational institutions, policymakers have effectively turned these areas into criminal safe spaces.
If we want to protect our youth at educational venues, it’s best to allow lawful people to carry.