Broad coalition helps defeat bill that would have been first in nation to
allow 18 year olds to carry on campus
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Croton Falls, NY): Minutes ago, the West Virginia Legislature adjourned for 2019 without sending guns on campus legislation to the Governor for his signature. HB 2519, a bill that just days ago passed the House of Delegates and looked like it would make its way to the Governor’s desk was defeated in Senate Judiciary with bipartisanship opposition. HB 2519 would have forced West Virginia’s public colleges and universities to allow hidden, loaded handguns on many parts of its campuses, while also being the first state to allow 18 year olds to carry.
The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus released the following statement in connection with the demise of guns on campus legislation:
“First and foremost, tonight’s victory is a victory for the safety of the students, faculty, staff, and visitors at all of West Virginia’s public colleges and universities. Second, the defeat of HB 2519 upholds the vital concept of local control by the state’s higher education system to restrict the carrying of loaded, concealed handguns.
“It is important to note that HB 2519 would not have been defeated but for the strong advocacy work lead by the students and included the joint efforts of these groups in which The Campaign had the privilege of working with: Presidents of state universities (Concord, Fairmont, and Marshall), Our Children Our Future, West Virginia Citizen Action Group, American Friends Service Committee, West Virginia NASW, faculty members (Marshall, Concord, Fairmont, and WVU) Moms Demand Action, and Student Government Associations (Bluefield State College, Concord University, Glenville State College, Marshall University, West Virginia University, WVU Institute of Technology).
“We also want to recognize the efforts by Delegates in the House who spoke forcefully in opposition to HB 2519 as they worked tirelessly to stop the bill from leaving the House. No doubt, their staunch opposition, coupled with the advocacy of the aforementioned groups and West Virginian citizens, helped convince a bipartisan group of Senate Judiciary members that West Virginia’s campuses are already safe.
“While we take a moment to celebrate tonight’s important victory, we know that the gun lobby was dealt a major blow by the defeat of this legislation and will redouble its effort over the next several months through methods of misinformation, threats, and intimidation.
”In closing, tonight’s defeat of HB 2519 follows on the heels of similar policy defeats in South Dakota and Wyoming. West Virginia’s victory should be a clarion call to educators across the nation that if you stand together and are determined to fight against policies that will force guns on your campus – you don’t have to compromise your principles or safety in order to win.”
The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus was founded in 2008 to urge colleges and universities to band together to oppose the gun lobby’s agenda to push loaded, concealed guns on college campuses. To date, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and more than 420 colleges and universities in 42 states have joined the Campaign. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Andy Pelosi, Executive Director, [email protected] (914-629-6726)
Julie Gavran, Western Director, [email protected]