West Virginia students and faculty oppose Campus Self-Defense Act
West Virginia University’s student government recently passed a proclamation in opposition to the state legislature's Campus Self-Defense Act.
The Act would eliminate the 'authority of the Higher Education Policy Commission... to restrict or regulate the carrying of concealed pistols or revolvers in certain circumstances.'
West Virginia University’s (WVU) student government recently passed a proclamation in opposition to the state legislature's Campus Self-Defense Act.
The Act, Senate Bill 10, would amend previous legislation in order to 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 pistols or revolvers in certain circumstances or areas of an institution of higher education."
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The proclamation states that SGA "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," student newspaper The Daily Athenaeum reports.
The Daily Athenaeum also reported that WVU's president E. Gordon Gee and nearby Marshall University president Brad D. Smith similarly opposed the bill in a joint letter, claiming that each school’s “board of governors are best suited to decide whether guns should be permitted on campus.”
A WVU student government poll allegedly found that, out of around 200 respondents, “51%... opposed or somewhat opposed campus carry.”
The bill contains exceptions in which concealed carry could still be regulated, however, including “[a]t an organized event taking place at a stadium or arena with a capacity of more than 1,000 spectators” or “[a]t a daycare facility located on the property of the state institution of higher education.”
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WVU's SGA proclamation will be sent to state officials and West Virginia University administrators.
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.”
All relevant parties have been contacted by Campus Reform for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.