Another university is allowing concealed carry on campus.
The latest school to amend its policies is Liberty University, a religious university in Lynchburg, Virginia founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, an Evangelical Southern Baptist preacher.
According to Liberty University’s new school policy, which went into effect on March 22, all students who have a Virginia concealed carry permit and permission from campus police will now be allowed to carry a gun into classrooms.
“These are the same people who are able to carry concealed weapons throughout the city, throughout the state. The state has blessed them and we’ve also run our separate check on them here with our university police department before they’re issued an extra permit that allows them privileges on our campus,” David Corry, the university’s General Counsel told the local ABC affiliate WSET.
Students who have violated the academic or honor code will not be granted permission. In addition, anyone who has “been arrested for or charged with any assault, battery, stalking, crime of violence, or felony” and is on probation will also be prohibited from carrying guns on campus.
“I think it’s good that Liberty is a little more open than some schools, and I think it’ll continue to create a higher level of security on campus than what was found at Virginia Tech,” Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. told the News & Advance.
This policy change is a step up from the school’s previous policy on guns on campus. Previously, faculty and staff were allowed to carry guns into the university’s academic and administrative buildings but students were only allowed to have guns on them while in their cars or walking around campus.
Guns in the residence halls, however, are still a no-no. Liberty will continue to only allow residence hall directors to bring guns inside dorms, a caveat that will likely prove problematic for those students who live on campus and need a place to store their guns.
“Students ought to have the ability to protect themselves,” Josh Hetzler, a law student who helped author the new policy told the local CBS affiliate WDBJ. “We’ve seen a number of instances here in the nation recently were schools are particularly vulnerable. They’re gun free zones, except that the bad guys still get the guns.”
Liberty’s new policy makes it the twenty-sixth college in Colorado, Michigan, Utah, and Virginia to allow concealed carry for students. Currently 24 states give colleges permission to decide whether concealed carry should be allowed on campus, with Georgia mulling over legislation mandating all universities in the state to allow concealed carry on campus.