Guns are a constant topic of discussion in today’s society. Lawmakers and activists on both sides of the gun control issue continuously debate over the best way to balance the safety of law abiding citizens with the Constitutional right to bear arms.
In October, a gunman opened fire on the campus of Umpqua Community College in Oregon. Ten people were killed and seven others injured. This latest tragedy reignited an already controversial issue, but with a twist on the conversation.
Guns on Virginia Campuses
In the state of Virginia, private schools are given the authority to regulate concealed weapons on their entire campuses. Public colleges and universities must allow lawful gun possession on the open grounds of their respective campuses. However, they are allowed to create regulations prohibiting weapons inside of university buildings and at campus events, where groups of people congregate. According to Armedcampuses.org, only Old Dominion University and Liberty University allow for the carrying of concealed weapons on their campuses.
The Arguments in Favor
Proponents of open carry on college campuses assert the following arguments:
- Prohibitions are a violation of the constitutional right to bear arms. They assert that college administrators possess no legal authority to prohibit guns on campus.
- Gun carry will ultimately make colleges safer by allowing students to protect themselves from shooters and other criminals on campus.
- Campus carry will promote safety for female students.
- The right to protect your home should extend to campus.
The Arguments Against
Opponents of open carry on college campuses assert the following reasons:
- Guns on campus will increase the risk of danger.
- Guns on campus will lead to an increase in student suicides due to their accessibility.
- The possibility of accidental shootings will increase.
- There is a high possibility of theft within a dorm room environment.
- Guns on campus will distract from the learning environment.
- The prevalence of alcohol use on college campuses makes for a dangerous mix when guns are present.
This group largely includes college and faculty administration, as well as campus law enforcement agents. NASPA, a national association for student affairs, also openly opposes laws allowing campus carry.
Call a Virginia Criminal Defense Lawyer | Shannon and Associates, Attorneys at Law
If you are facing weapons charges or have questions about Virginia’s weapons laws, seek consultation from an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Contact the attorneys of Shannon and Associates for a free consultation or call (757) 228-5529.