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Monday, September 19, 2011

ODU Takes Steps to Tighten Firearms Ban on Campus

The Virginian Pilot reports today that Old Dominion University (ODU) administrators have drafted a regulation for consideration by the university’s Board of Visitors (BOV) that will be considered at its December meeting to explicitly ban all firearms, except those carried by police officers, from campus buildings and sports events.  The BOV is the governing body of the state institution.
In a July opinion requested by a state lawmaker, Cuccinelli said a University of Virginia policy banning guns from campus does not apply to holders of concealed-weapon permits.

ODU has a similar policy, as do most Virginia state colleges and universities.
The AG's Opinion said that "university policies" cannot ban concealed firearms on campus but left open the avenue for "regulations" to ban carrying at state colleges and universities because the AG said regulations carry the force of laws.

Currently, Utah is the only state that has a policy allowing permit holders to carry guns on campuses of its nine public universities.  There are individual instutions, such as Colorado State University, which is prohibited by the state constitution from banning concealed carry on campus, and Blue Ridge Community College in Virginia, that allows concealed carry on its campuses.

A bill to prohibit state colleges and universities from passing such regulations was introduced in during the 2011 General Assembly but died in a Senate committee.

To date, there have been no issues in Utah, or on the campuses of CSU and Blue Ridge Community College with concealed firearm permit holders causing problems.  But, that is usually the case with permit holders - they obey the law.


Sean said...

I would not enjoy this one bit. I do not attend ODU at the moment but I will either be going to ODU or Lynchburg College next fall to continue my education. I would hate for my personal safety and comfort to make me a criminal but I guess so be it.

teej said...

While current university policy prohibits firearms in the hands of students and professors on campus, that policy does not have the force of law. Of course, one could be expelled or fired for not paying attention to it.

I know a handful of current ODU students who do just that. They risk expulsion and their future careers in order to protect themselves, especially when travelling to and from campus through areas everyone acknowledges as dangerous in order to attend night classes. Somehow they've withstood the temptation to shoot up a classroom.

ODU is proposing an addition to the Virginia Administrative Code that would result in a prohibition on firearms for students and faculty which would have the force of law. Any sane person realizes such a regulation will do absolutely nothing to prevent crime of any sort on or around campus. (By the way, the recent "security measures" have had the same (non-)result.) The risk for not paying attention to it would be expulsion/firing, future career, jail time, court costs, fees, and possible jeopardization of one's RKBA (does that last one even make sense?).

I will not chastise you for plans to illegally provide for your own protection. (No one else (and certainly not the ODU police department or their unarmed security aids) will do it.) However it is certainly not wise to advertise such plans on the web.

What you should do:
1) Join the Virginia Citizens Defense League. If you're tight for money and a member of the NRA, quit. They do absolutely nothing for Virginians compared to the VCDL. On the federal level they have a record of being counterproductive to the restoration of gun rights. The only realistic way to fight this, is to lobby in Richmond. (Specifically for state-agency preemption) Don't just pay to be a member of the VCDL, be active. K-12 and University carry has been made a primary issue for the VCDL starting this year. However not much can be expected in the way of very pro-gun bills until the GA looses some of its anti-gun membership (especially leadership) or the majority party changes. So pay attention to who you elect.

2) Don't give attendance money to universities with anti-gun regs. in the VAC. Let universities you otherwise would have attended know why you're going somewhere else.

3) Educate friends, family and acquaintances about how many people carry firearms responsibly. Nobody knows you're a responsible, normal citizen with a gun if you carry concealed all the time. Open carry, and talk to anybody who asks about the ridiculousness of firearms legislation. You'll find that essentially everybody is either openly encouraging or neutral. Since the age of 19 I've handed out dozens of open carry information cards to inquisitive individuals. Almost all of my interactions have been positive. The many other people who post of their experiences have had the same experience.