CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The House of Delegates Judiciary Committee will host a public hearing Monday afternoon at the state capitol in connection with a campus carry bill.
House Bill 2519, called The Campus Self Defense Act, would require colleges to allow those licensed to carry a concealed deadly weapon to do so on campus and in campus buildings.
The bill includes some exceptions from the requirement including events in campus sports arenas with more than 1,500 seats, campus daycare centers, campus police headquarters and private events.
Some states that have campus carry allow firearms in residence halls. House Bill 2519 doesn’t address the situation but that may change, according to House Judiciary Chairman John Shott.
“Our bill is silent on that but that’s certainly an issue we will be developing,” Shott said.
The public hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. in the House Chamber.
“I think if you’re interested in local control or choice, individual choice, you certainly ought to plan on attending that public hearing and monitoring the progress of that bill,” Shott said.
According to the bill, its purpose is “to allow a person who holds a current and valid license to carry a concealed deadly weapon to carry such a weapon on the campus and in the buildings of a state institution of higher education. It provides exceptions and immunity to an institution for a licensee’s intentional or unintentional use of a firearm while carrying it under the act.
“The bill seeks to acknowledge that violence against disarmed law-abiding citizens is an increasing, but unnecessary, occurrence. The bill is an attempt by the Legislature to reaffirm a law-abiding citizen’s Second Amendment Right, the right to protect themselves by allowing legally licensed and permitted employees, staff, and students of public universities the right to legally carry a concealed weapon within specified limitations”
Delegate Jim Butler, R-Mason, is the bill’s chief sponsor.