West Virginia “Campus Carry” Bill Moves On To Senate

House Bill 2519, often referred to as “campus carry,” was passed in the House 59-41 last night after three hours of debate.

The bill allows people with concealed carry licenses to carry their guns on college campuses throughout West Virginia.

Our faculty at WVU has been fighting for multiple amendments to the bill, only one of which was accepted. Some of the amendments included gun free zones in stadiums or arenas with more than 1,000 people in attendance, any daycare facility on campus, single-person offices and on-campus residence hall areas that are not commonly shared.

The House voted to only declare stadiums or arenas gun-free zones.

This bill has been heavily protested on our campus, specifically with a campus-wide walkout that took place in Woodburn Circle last Thursday.

Photo: Jesse Wright / WVPB

 

Members of both the WVU student body and faculty have visited Charleston to protest the bill, and several letters have been sent to lawmakers expressing our opposition to the bill.

An open letter signed by 155 WVU students and published in The DA says, “To say that this legislation goes against everything we want in our academic institution is an understatement. We chose to seek higher education because we want to solve the world’s problems with our words and our ideas, not with guns and violence."

Several other colleges in West Virginia have voiced their opposition to the bill as well, such as Marshall University and Fairmont State University. According to The Herald-Dispatch, both student body presidents stated that “the students they represent overwhelmingly oppose campus concealed carry.”

The bill will also cost universities 11.6 million dollars to implement, but they have 15 months to figure out where the money will come from. Several WVU students have voiced concerns over possible tuition increases, but the university has neither confirmed or denied an increase.

This bill will now move on to the state Senate.