Recently, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice signed a bill into law that would allow for the concealed carry of guns on all public West Virginia college campuses. It will act as a self-defense law, but many are scared it could bring danger as well. This law will go into practice in 2024 when other gun laws are going into practice as well.
Shepherd University has already taken precautions by emailing out “Active Shooter Training” to all students. Professors are also talking about it in classes, which allows for the students to understand what exactly the law is and what it could bring. West Virginia University has also started taking precautions.
Some parents are upset about the law that allows people to bring guns onto public college campuses. The father of a freshman at Shepherd is outraged, saying it is “no place for guns.” He also stated that when he was asked how he felt, he was reminded of the shooting at Virginia Tech a few years ago and the University of Virginia shooting a few months ago. Another saying she does not “feel comfortable with campus carry laws. College campuses are no place for guns.”
Students are angry as well. Emily Jordan, a freshman at Shepherd, said it makes her angry that “in spite of the numerous mass shootings occurring in the country, the governor would find it appropriate to allow more guns on college campuses.” It makes her anxious that she could experience an active shooter threat. She believes it is a bad idea, though it may help in the case of self-defense.
Forty people spoke out against the law at the West Virginia State Capital. Upper administrative officials in West Virginia higher education also urged lawmakers to reconsider.
There are some guidelines to this bill. Guns are not allowed in areas with a compacity of 1,000 plus people, like football stadiums or on-campus daycares. Schools cannot regulate firearms in resident halls but in common areas. Colleges will have a location for storage of pistols or revolvers, which comes with a fee.