Liberty University will soon begin allowing guns in dorms and rescinding a rule that prohibits students to bring guns into their living quarters. The president of the Christian university in Virginia, Jerry Falwell Jr., said the rule change was made in an effort to enhance campus and student safety.
When Falwell made the guns in dorms announcement at a large student gathering, he earned a rousing round of applause. The Liberty University president urged all students who are eligible to do so to get the gun training required to obtain a concealed carry permit, MSN reports.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) December 6, 2015
Second Amendment supporters from around the country largely supported the Liberty University guns in dorms decision, as well. Right to bear arms advocates feel that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is for the good guy (or girl) to have a gun to protect themselves and others with them, as well. Gun-free zone signs did not deter the San Bernardino terrorists, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter in Newtown, or a host of other criminals who entered a building which did not allow those inside to carry a gun.
Since 2011, Liberty University has allowed both students and staff to concealed carry on campus, providing they have the necessary state-issued credentials, NBC News reports. Until now, students who lived in dorms had to keep their guns locked in their vehicles or another “secure place.” Students, their parents, and staff members had expressed concern to university administrators that a requirement to keep a gun locked away in a separate location diminished the ability to protect yourself.
During his address to several thousand students, Jerry Falwell Jr. was himself, carrying a small handgun in his pocket. Falwell garnered his concealed carry permit in 2013. The decision to allow concealed carry on campus, but not then in dormitories, was reportedly prompted by the 2007 Virginia tech shooting.
An excerpt from Falwell’s guns in dorms address to Liberty University students follows.
“I take very seriously my responsibility to keep you safe in an increasingly dangerous world. I’ve always thought that if more good people had concealed carry permits, then we could end those Muslims, [San Bernardino terror attack reference] before they walked in. We must also look out for each other, report suspicious activity and be alert.”
— The Hill (@thehill) December 10, 2015
In Virginia, like many states, citizens can get a concealed carry permit if they are at least 21 years of age, pass a background check, and take training by a licensed instructor who follows the current instructional guidelines. The training curriculum and mandatory hours of instruction varies by state. Open carry is allowed in a multitude of states without a training course.
Approximately 950 Liberty University students and faculty members already have a concealed carry permits. According to Falwell, “hundreds” more members of the campus community have signed up for the firearms training course since his speech.
Liberty University Student Body President, Quincy Thompson, 22, said that the majority of the students at the Virginia university support the guns in dorms rule change. The student leader does not currently have a concealed carry permit but said that he is considering signing up for the course next semester.
“I believe we have the safest college campus in America,” Thompson stated. “We also have students who have been given the opportunity to defend themselves.”
Liberty University is a conservative Christian college in Lynchburg. The on-campus student population totals nearly 14,000. Republican Ted Cruz announced that he was running for president during a speech at the Virginia university.
How do you feel about the guns in dorms policy change at Liberty University?
[Image via Shutterstock.com]