Liberty U planning first ever on-campus shooting range
Liberty University has announced plans to open a NRA-compliant shooting range on campus by next fall.
“The proposed project is a shooting sports center, as [sic] state-of-the-art facility for training, competition events, and education.” A proposal to the Campbell County's Planning Commission said. “The facility will be NRA certified and will provide marksmanship program for Liberty University, for law enforcement, and for citizens.”
According to The Christian Post, the new range will be the first of its kind on an American college campus, because every other university-owned shooting facility is located away from campus.
“The university has operated a small gun range off campus for a number of years, at least since 2010. I have used it several times,” Daniel Howell, a biology professor at Liberty University told Campus Reform. “However… this NEW range is going to be on campus and over-the-top excellent (which is the Liberty Way these days!).”
Howell even suggested that Liberty could go even further by orchestrating on-campus active shooter drills.
“The University should consider a mock classroom with hallways so students and faculty can practice an active shooter scenario in a live-round environment, but I’ve not heard of any such plans,” he said. “I am not at all afraid of a good guy with a gun. I am happy for any student who is 21 years old and obtains a valid concealed carry permit to be armed in my classroom. In fact, I feel safer for it.”
Howell also believes that more people should carry guns, arguing that “In 21st century America, enough bad people carry concealed guns,” and that therefore, “more good people need to do it” because “I believe the more good people that know how to store, handle, and carry lethal weapons responsibly, the safer we all are.”
He did acknowledge that some students feel threatened on campus by possible intruders, but suggested that the potential benefits far outweigh the risks.
“I think most of us at Liberty University assume we are a bigger-than-usual target for terrorists because of our conservative Christian beliefs,” he pointed out. “Certainly any would-be terrorist on our campus will have to think twice about how ‘successful’ they might be knowing they are surrounded by good guys (and gals) with guns, trained in how to use them.”
Students are excited about the proposed range as well.
“I'm ecstatic to hear of the university's plans for a range,” Jordan Stein, a senior at Liberty University and founder of Students at Liberty for Gun Rights told Campus Reform. “From my experience, Liberty students have a strong passion for the Second Amendment and firearms. This range will certainly continue that tradition and teach responsible firearms handling for the surrounding communities."
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