Virginia’s Liberty University to permit firearms in residence halls
A rule that prohibits students from bringing firearms into residence halls will soon end at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, according to The Washington Post. School president Jerry Falwell, Jr. shared this announcement this week in what he calls “a measure to increase campus safety.”
This announcement stirred controversy as the nation debates gun rights and gun control.
The school president shared the news during a gathering of several thousand students at the evangelical Christian school, which generated heavy applause. He encouraged students to get training from school authorities to enable them to get a permit to carry concealed weapons.
“I take very seriously my responsibility to keep you safe in an increasingly dangerous world,” Falwell said during his announcement.
Liberty has allowed students, faculty and staff to carry concealed guns on campus and in all buildings, with the exception of residence halls, since 2011 as long as they have the proper state permits.
Residents may obtain a concealed-carry permit if they are 21 or older, under the state’s law. More than 900 people at Liberty now have concealed-carry permits, according to Falwell, and hundreds more have recently signed up for a training course to obtain a permit.
After his announcement, Falwell said he received several messages of support from the campus community.
Quincy Thompson, Liberty’s student body president, stated that he and many fellow students support Falwell’s view on allowing firearms in residence halls. He is considering obtaining a concealed-carry permit in the upcoming semester.
“I believe we have the safest college campus in America. We also have students who have been given the opportunity to defend themselves,” said Thompson.