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If you were given the right to carry a weapon, would you fight to have it taken away? Some would, in the name of safety.
Such is the case at West Virginia University (WVU), where students are protesting a possible change in the law.
The state’s legislature has introduced Senate Bill 10, which would roll back on-campus authority.
From the measure:
A BILL…relating to regulation or restriction of the carrying of a concealed pistol or revolver by a person who holds a current license to carry a concealed deadly weapon; authorizing regulation or restriction on the carrying of concealed pistols or revolvers in certain circumstances or areas of an institution of higher education…
The Campus Self Defense Act would eliminate the “authority of the Higher Education Policy Commission, the Council for Community and Technical College Education, and the institutional boards of governors to restrict or regulate the carrying of concealed [handguns]…”
As noted by The DA Online, SB 10 was authorized by the Senate Judiciary Committee last month and will advance to the Senate.
And not everyone is thrilled. Per a proclamation, the WVU Student Government Association vehemently “opposes the passage of any legislation which will end longstanding prohibitions on the carrying of firearms [and] supports maintaining the autonomy of the University’s Boards of Governors to serve as the primary decision-maker or matters relating to the allowance of concealed carry.”
[Sen. Christian Miller] cited an SGA survey from December where 51% of respondents opposed or somewhat opposed campus carry. A couple hundred students responded, according to Khan.
As asserted by College Sen. Jillian Blair, it’ll affect enrollment:
“It is going to significantly impact people’s decisions on whether or not they want to come to school here. I mean, I’ve lived here my whole life. I think I have heard more times than I ever want to hear again that young people are leaving the state.”
Some staff are similarly against campus concealed carry. WVU’s Faculty Senate issued a resolution asking lawmakers to “preserve institutional control” over it.
Even WVU President E. Gordon Gee has spoken out. According to a joint statement with Marshall University President Brad D. Smith, the colleges’ “board of governors are best suited to decide whether guns should be permitted on campus.”
To be clear, SB 10 excepts any “organized event taking place at a stadium or arena with a capacity of more than 1,000 spectators” and “[a]t a daycare facility located on the property of the state institution of higher education.” As noted by Campus Reform, WVU’s chief hopes such exclusions remain:
In a letter that West Virginia University sent to Campus Reform, WVU and Marshall administrators urged state lawmakers to “keep these provisions intact as it considers the legislation. The provisions are critical to the safety of our university communities.”
Previously, I’ve presented an analysis of gun legislation clamping down on capacity:
[It] seems based on a peculiar premise: Those unfazed by the law prohibiting murder will be sufficiently shaken to their core by an ordinance regulating round count.
The same might be said of gun-prohibitive zones.
But assuming common sense is correct, make two columns — the first for Criminals, the other for Victims. Now pass all the gun laws you want; and apply their impact only to the second column. Afterward, which group has the advantage?
Or maybe that sense isn’t so common.
At WVU, critics’ concerns are presumably over the wrong people packing. Will regulations keep that from occurring? Many evidently believe “Yes.”
Stay tuned for more.
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