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WVU posts public comments on proposed Campus Carry rule, along with university responses to suggestions

MORGANTOWN – WVU’s Board of Governors will vote on the proposed Campus Carry rule during its April 12 meeting, and 16 public comments on the proposed rule have been posted on the BOG’s Rules Under Review web page.

All comments are posted without the names of the author. In each case, an official response is posted.

Here is a look at what people have said.

The first comment up says the rule should ban weapons – concealed or not – from classrooms during instruction periods. “It is absurd that deadly weapons are prohibited from campus safety buildings where the police who occupy those buildings carry weapons, and are trained in their use, yet they would be permitted in a classroom.”

WVU responded that the Campus Self Defense Act – the state law authorizing Campus Carry – has no classroom exception, so no change to the rule is in order.

Another commenter suggested that WVU should have the option to not allow weapon storage in residence halls, given that there are other locations on all three campuses that are safer, still convenient to students, and where storage can be provided more cost effectively than in a residence hall.

WVU responded that the law allows for either safes or secure storage locations for on-campus residents, so no rule change is in order.

WVU agreed with the insight provided by one commenter. The person observed that weapons are permitted in some areas surrounded by other areas where weapons are prohibited. They cite the example of patient care areas in Health Sciences connected by a hallway to a hall of faculty offices. Guns would be allowed in the connecting hallway but not in the patient areas or faculty offices.

“Given the person cannot have their weapon in the other adjacent areas, it makes no sense to allow a weapon in the connecting hallways,” the author said.

WVU replied that Campus Self-defense Act does not specifically permit such a prohibition, but the practical effect is clear and therefore will likely be addressed through enforcement or FAQs, rather than a rule change. The FAQ might say, “Individuals are not permitted to carry through prohibited areas.”

One commenter pointed out an internal contradiction in the rule and the law, concerning permissible weapon storage inside safes in residential rooms. The person pointed out that the gun will be toted through halllways and will not be concealed at times when it is in the room – a potential problem for shared dorm rooms.

The author suggested either not offering in-room safes or allowing in-room storage only in rooms with direct outside access and requiring roommates’ permission for in-room storage.

WVU responded “a change should be made to allow for further flexibility in implementing the residence hall protocol. … The BOG rule needs to be flexible in case administrative needs arise that require a change to the manner of storage in residence halls. Thus, a change was made to clarify that if safes are permitted, a resident will be allowed to have [words are missing here, and it is unclear if they mean a gun or a safe] in their room for storage purposes.”

Several authors echoed the sentiments widely expressed during deliberation of the Campus Self Defense Act in 2023.

One said, “School shootings have been an epidemic that have plagued our country for a long time. … Allowing people to concealed carry on campus can only increase the probability these events will happen.” Many students will not feel comfortable knowing other students are carrying guns, and Campus Carry might deter recruitment of new students, the commenter opines.

WVU responded that this merited a small change in the rule, “to make clear that the exceptions are required by the Campus Self-defense Act.”

One commenter addressed the portion of the rule allowing personnel with sole-occupancy offices to bar weapons in their offices if they provide proper notice. The commenter said it could be interpreted that the occupant was barred from carrying a weapon and the rule needed to be clarified.

WVU agreed that additional clarity is needed to indicate “that specific exception does not permit the university to prohibit all employees from carrying a concealed pistol or revolver in their office.”

One commenter echoed another school of thought prevalent during the 2023 deliberations. The author wrote, “Senate Bill 10, while well intended, is unlikely to deter a determined shooter. An open campus simply has too many access points, unless the institution plans to restrict entry to specific areas and use TSA level equipment and procedures at those locations. If that is the case, the Legislature should fund those precautions. So the steps being taken are less effective before the trigger is pulled and take affect mostly after the gun smoke clears.”

WVU simply responded that no rule change is merited because “WVU must comply with the West Virginia Campus Self Defense Act.”


The Campus Self Defense Act, passed as SB 10 in 2023, sets the parameters for people with concealed handgun permits to carry on public college and university campuses and includes directives for weapons storage in dorms and other buildings, and exceptions where the schools may still prohibit weapons, such as the football stadium and the Coliseum.

The finalized rule will apply to WVU, WVU Institute of Technology, and WVU Potomac State College, and covers all university campuses, including HSC Charleston, HSC Martinsburg, School of Nursing Bridgeport Campus, and areas of the campus and buildings under the university’s custodial possession but does not include areas rented, leased, or under an exclusive agreement for the full-time occupancy and use of a private entity.

The rule, in conformity with the law, spells out 12 exceptions where “deadly weapons and dangerous objects” will remain prohibited. They include Puskar Stadium and the Coliseum, WVU daycares, areas used by WVU Police or other law enforcement, and in on-campus residence halls (except common areas such as lounges, dining areas, and study areas, with the storage requirements addressed in the comments above), among others.