To carry, or not to carry? That issue is before the West Virginia legislature this week.
They are considering a bill that will allow students, faculty and staff to carry guns on college campuses. The sides are sharply divided.
Various groups have shown up at the Capitol in protest in recent days, setting their sites on the “Campus Carry” bill being debated in the House of Delegates.
There have also been numerous protests at public universities across the mountain state.
Supporters, say students and staff should have the right to arm and protect themselves without penalty, though critics say it will just add to campus danger.
“Currently, if a shooter wants to go in and do a lot of damage, they know that they can go to a gun-free zone, knowing that the people can’t defend themselves,” said Del. Jim Butler, (R) Mason. “In this instance, they would know that there is at least the possibility that some students and staff members might be armed.”
“I want to send my children to summer camps and preschool on Marshall’s campus,” said Tosha Pelfrey, a Huntington Parent. “I’m not going to be able to do that if this passes.”
If approved, the campus carry bill would apply to all public colleges and universities in the state
The final showdown vote on campus carry is Wednesday in the House of Delegates. If it passes there, it’s on to the State Senate.
Right now 12 states have statewide campus carry polices, but 16 states have laws against it.
The remainder of the states, allow individual colleges and universities to set their own policies