The Judiciary Committee held a public hearing regarding House Bill 2519, the Campus Carry Act. To simplify the bill, would allow students on a college campus to have a concealed carry weapon. Many advocates for and against the bill from the state and local universities showed up to voice their opinions on the bill.
Advocates for the bill discussed how in other states there has been 50 percent reductions in crime on campus since the law was enacted. Many spoke as well about the importance of safety on campus and how dangerous it can be for young women to be on campus without being able to protect themselves. Advocates for the bill spoke about the violation it would be to American citizens 2nd amendment rights, and how security on campuses cannot always be around when there is danger present.
“A girl attending Florida State University was raped at knife point not fifteen feet away from a blue light to call for help. I also have a granddaughter that was in college and she lived in a room alone and was often uneasy about being by herself. She had to walk to her car and back from classes alone and although Pepper spray is an option I do not believe it would have helped in a situation like that. That story about this young girl from Florida State is what made me realize how desperately we need this legislation and why campus’s need campus carry” said Sarah Akin.
Those opposed to the bill also brought strong counterpoints to the committees attention. West Virginia’s rate of suicide has gone up in recent years and young adults dealing with mental health issues and the experimentation phases of college risk taking their own lives with this law. The point was also made that funds would increase greatly by universities as well as hiring additional security and security measures installed on campus. Those opposed also brought up facts that young adults between the ages of 18-21 in college brains are not fully developed and drinking and partying could only lead to accidents or disaster.
“I believe campus carry could lead to more harm, especially among women and the LGBTQ+ community. Public colleges in Colorado were forced to allow campus carry and rape increased 36 percent. As a survivor of sexual assault on campus I am disgusted that previous and current students are being used to advance a political agenda. Its clear that an increase in guns on campus doesn’t lead to a reduced rates on women and the queer community” said Ash Bray.
The committee will look at the bill in depth.
During committee earlier today the committee passed House Bill 2486 this bill relates to using criminal records of criminal conviction to disqualify a person from receiving a license for a profession or occupation.