Post Classifieds

Campus Carry Bill Receives Opposition from College Leaders

By Savannah Cooper
On February 7, 2019

 The Campus Carry Bill has resurfaced, in recent weeks, in West Virginia causing universities and college communities to discuss the controversial topic. 

As the number of mass shootings grow throughout the United States, people are scrambling for a solution to the problem before it reaches their communities. In West Virginia, one solution brought forward includes the Campus Carry Bill. 

Currently in West Virginia, individuals 18 years or older can carry a gun without a permit. Also, individuals 21 and older can conceal carry without a permit. This being said, organizations can choose to prohibit weapons on their properties. Colleges are currently organizations that do prohibit guns. Under the Campus Carry Bill, this would change. 

If the bill passes, no public college in West Virginia could prohibit individuals from carrying guns on campus. The premise of the bill is students will be able to protect themselves and hopefully stop an active shooter if one enters campus. In response to the bill, a strong opposition is being brought forward by the residents of West Virginia and college goers. 

On January 30 of this year, presidents from Concord University, Fairmont State College, Shepherd University, WVSOM, WV State University, West Liberty University, and Glenville State College all came together to release a letter urging representatives to carefully reconsider passing the bill.  

The letter goes into great detail about how the bill could be detrimental to college campuses. Throughout the letter, a study done by John`s Hopkins on the risk of allowing college aged students to carry firearms is explained. It says, “Risky decision making in adolescence and early adulthood is due, in part, to ongoing brain development during that stage of life that can compromise emotional and behavioral regulation, impulse control, and judgement-all which are essential for avoiding the circumstances in which a firearm access leads to tragedy.” 

Also, the report proved that “Access to firearms substantially increases suicide risk, especially among adolescence and young adults.” These two findings alone are enough to want to question the need for a bill that allows firearms on campuses, but the presidents brought one more defense to the table, money.  

Adding additional costs to already underfunded institutions for training, more security personnel, and metal detectors would be nearly impossible. To end off the plea for reconsideration, the letter states, “Please vote NO and protect the safety and wellbeing of all WV citizens in and around our campuses. Although we agree that making our campuses safer is what is in the best interest of our citizens, we believe that removing restrictions related to gun possession on the premises of higher education institutions is not the way to accomplish this goal.”  

Along with college heads, students and faculty have shown their opposition to the bill in meetings around Concords campus. At the Student Government Association’s meeting on January 30, many student representatives and faculty expressed their views on the bill. Through anecdotes and statistics, attendees explained how allowing guns on campus would impact the community. 

Chief Mark Stella, Director of Public Safety, expressed his opinion during the Jan. 30 SGA meeting by stating, “First and foremost, I am a supporter of the second amendment. I am a firm believer in that, but I am against this bill…I want to see you guys go through four years here, walk across that stage, and make something of yourselves. But if this bill is passed, it is scary.” 

Although some students are showing support for the bill, faculty members are offering counterarguments to the explanations on why concealed carried is needed. 

SGA Delegate Nicholas said, I would just like to say, while I would agree that a lot of people that would be carrying guns would have training, but no amount of in-class training is the same as the training for if someone was firing at you. The only people that get that training are law enforcement and military.” 

After only one student voted to write a statement from the SGA in support of the bill, SGA decided they will write a statement from the student body opposing the open carry bill. The next discussion of the bill will occur on February 11 as a public hearing will be held by the West Virginia state House Judiciary Committee. 


Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly

More The Concordian News Articles

Recent The Concordian News Articles

Discuss This Article


Do you think the administration should reopen the pool?



Log In

or Create an account

Employers & Housing Providers

Employers can list job opportunities for students

Post a Job

Housing Providers can list available housing

Post Housing

Log In

Forgot your password?

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

Please Select Your College/University:

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format