Bad actors would want to think twice before drawing down on kids in West Virginia; granted, they might soon find themselves amongst gunslingers.
Senate Bill 10, the “College Campus Self-Defense Act,” was recently approved by the Republican-controlled West Virginia House of Delegates. It will allow visitors, employees, and students with concealed carry licenses to carry weapons on college campuses.
Gov. Jim Justice told reporters that he will be signing the bill into law “in seconds” once it lands on his desk.
On Jan. 11, state Sen. Rupert Phillips Jr. proposed the measure, which seeks to:
- permit the carrying of a “concealed revolver or pistol by a person who has a current license to carry a concealed weapon,”
- authorize “restriction or regulation on the carrying of concealed revolvers or pistols in certain circumstances or areas of an institution,” such as any areas with a capacity for more than 1,000 spectators or close to on-campus day care centers, and
- eliminating the “authority of the Higher Education Policy Commission, the Council for CCW Training, and the Council for CCW Certification.”
If the owner is 21 years old or older, or if they are between the ages of 18 and 20, they must have a provisional concealed carry permit.
Although open carry of a handgun is forbidden on campus, concealed carry is allowed.
Moore Capito, the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, stated that the bill “clarifies that institutions of higher education may not ban a trained person from carrying a firearm.”
According to The Inter-Mountain, it was approved by a vote of 84 to 13.
Delegate Erikka Storch and Republican House Speaker Roger Hanshaw cast no votes for the measure. Del. Elliott Pritt dissented from his fellow Democrats and voted in favor of the measure.
Among those who backed the proposal was Del. Michael Honaker (R), who remembers the sight of blood covering Norris Hall’s floor following the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting that left 32 people dead, according to the Associated Press.
Parents had to be informed that their children had died, according to the former state trooper.
When there was an active shooter on a college campus, Honaker recalled, “I sat on the edge of my bed with paper towels and Windex and I scrubbed the blood of approximately 30 students off of my shoes. I worry that if I don’t support this law and it occurs again, attempting to wipe the blood off of my hands won’t even come close to being as difficult as wiping their blood off my shoes.”
Honaker said that “Even if it is a policy matter, this goes beyond that. The fact that it is a constitutional problem just adds to its importance. We can’t avoid that.”
Democratic delegate John Williams expressed his skepticism about the plan, saying, “I believe we’re making a false assumption that every single one of these people who’s going to be carrying firearms on campus is going to be like Clint Eastwood, ready to battle.”
Williams seems to have overlooked the reality that even while not every single kid carrying a weapon may be prepared to “fight,” it only takes one to stop a murderer in his tracks.
It was previously reported that a civilian with a gun prevented a massacre from occurring last week at a mall in El Paso. In the Cielo Vista Mall, Emanuel Duran, 32, shot a person who was reportedly responsible for one man’s death and three other serious injuries. Duran was lawfully armed.
Gov. Jim Justice (R) is prepared to sign the “Campus Self-Defense Act,” according to WTRF-TV.
“God forbid, it’s very possible that there’s someone on that college campus carrying a weapon and then awful things start to happen and everything. It might save a lot of lives,” Justice stated.
The governor reaffirmed his support for the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms for law-abiding “decent people.”