West Virginia’s 2020 Legislative Session Closed on Saturday, Marking the Second Year in a Row That Legislation That Would Force Guns on College Campuses was Defeated
West Virginia Lawmakers Also Rejected Legislation That Would Have Allowed More Guns on K-12 School Grounds
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statement celebrating the defeat of dangerous, gun-lobby-backed legislation that would have forced colleges in West Virginia to allow people to carry loaded handguns on campus and allowed more people to bring hidden, loaded guns on the grounds of K-12 schools.
“West Virginia lawmakers prioritized public safety over the gun lobby this session, and our campuses and communities will be safer as a result,” said Lisa Weihman, a student liaison at WVU and volunteer with the West Virginia chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We’re not going anywhere – come next session, we’ll continue to fight for common-sense measures that will protect our families and communities.”
“I already have enough to worry about on campus between exams and grades – I shouldn’t have to worry about my classmates and teachers being armed,” said Hannah Jack, a volunteer with WVU Students Demand Action. “By defeating this bill, we’ve ensured that students can keep our focus where it should be – on learning.”
Professors, students, and parents agree – guns have no place on college campuses, and state legislators shouldn’t make colleges less safe by forcing them to allow concealed handguns in dorms, classrooms, sporting events, and other sensitive areas. Allowing guns on campus could also increase the risk of gun suicide for students. The firearm suicide rate for children and teens has increased by 65 percent in the past decade – and access to firearms triples one’s risk of death by suicide.
In early February, dozens of Moms Demand Action volunteers convened at the statehouse in Charleston for an annual advocacy day, meeting with lawmakers to urge them to protect West Virginian colleges and universities by rejecting guns on campus legislation and legislation that would have allowed more guns on K-12 school grounds.