A bill that allows people to carry Weapons concealed on public college campuses in West Virginia passed by a landslide in the state’s House of Delegates Feb. 21, NPR reported.
This move sends the bill to West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, who has made no public indication of whether he will sign it into law. At present, the state prohibits the carrying of firearms on public college and university campuses.
The Campus Self-Defense Act — passed 29-4 in the state Senate chamber and 84-13 in the House — allows people with concealed carry permits to have handguns or revolvers on campuses starting July 2024, but bans open carry of guns on public college campuses and does not allow guns in high-capacity areas such as stadiums.
Higher education leaders in the state have shown reluctance and opposition to this legislation.
“We believe our boards of trustees are best placed to decide whether guns should be allowed on campus,” reads a January letter from the presidents of West Virginia University and Marshall University. “We therefore do not support transportation on campuses across the state.”
And the presidents of West Virginia State University, Concord University and Shepherd University have expressed support for the second amendment but also reservations about public safety challenges.
“The introduction of firearms into this already difficult environment could have unintended consequences,” they wrote in a separate letter, referring to rising suicide rates and concerns that the presence of firearms could stifle free trade. of ideas.
Marshall professor and former Marine Corps infantryman Chris White said the bill does not include enough security measures.
Similar legislation exists in 11 other states: Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.