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House Education Committee passes bill to allow concealed carry on college campuses in West Virginia

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Students walking through campus Monday evening.

Students walking through campus Monday evening.

Sadie Helmick | LIFE! Editor

Sadie Helmick | LIFE! Editor

Students walking through campus Monday evening.

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A topic on many college campuses in West Virginia currently is the debate on whether to allow concealed carry on campus. Friday morning, House Bill 4298, requiring West Virginia universities and colleges to allow people with a gun license to carry concealed guns on campus, passed out of the House Education Committee. Many people at Marshall spoke out in opposition of the current bill.

In a message to members of the House Judiciary Committee, Marshall University President Jerry Gilbert voiced his concerns. In the message, Gilbert said he believes his top priority is ensuring the safety of everyone on campus.

“As a university president, one of my chief responsibilities is to be sure that we do everything we can to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, staff and visitors,” Gilbert said in the message.

In the message, Gilbert also said he does not believe allowing individuals to bring guns on campus will make campus safer.

“I firmly believe that guns on campus will decrease the level of safety and put people at more risk of accidental or purposeful injury due to firearm use,” Gilbert said.

Others on campus have also spoken out against the bill. In a letter to West Virginia delegates, Student Body President Matt Jarvis also voiced his concerns of allowing guns on Marshall’s campus. Jarvis’ letter can be viewed on the Marshall SGA Twitter account.

In the letter, Jarvis said he believes if the bill was to pass, it would be detrimental to the student body.

“If passed, the resulting fear and anxiety created would be detrimental to the overall well-being of our students,” Jarvis said in the letter. “Students should not have to consider a classmate possessing and potentially using a firearm should a disruption occur on campus.”

Marshall University Police Chief Jim Terry denied comment until the final form of the bill is released. Terry said he, along with other administrators at Marshall, are “watching and following it.”

The bill now moves onto the House Judiciary Committee.

Kyra Biscarner can be contacted at [email protected]

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