Justice makes ‘Campus Carry’ law in West Virginia

By Matthew Young, RealWV

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – At a Wednesday morning event at his offices in Charleston, Gov. Jim Justice signed SB 10 into law, thus putting an end to debate regarding the wisdom of allowing concealed handguns on college campuses. Advertised as legislation which will “strengthen 2nd Amendment protections in West Virginia,” critics of the bill believe it will cause more gun-related injuries than it will prevent. 

Before introducing Justice, Art Thomm, state director of the W.Va. Chapter of the NRA (National Rifle Association), said, “The National Rifle Association applauds the West Virginia Legislature for passing, and Gov. Jim Justice for signing the NRA-backed SB 10 – the Campus Self-Defense Act.”

“This is a big day not only for West Virginians, but for law-abiding gun owners across the country who may choose West Virginia for employment or higher education,” Thomm noted. 

As it is now law, the “Campus Self-Defense Act” – also referred to as “Campus Carry” – allows “persons who are holders of concealed handgun permits to carry concealed on the campuses of the state’s institutions of higher education.” SB 10 was denounced by both West Virginia University (WVU), and Marshall University. Additionally, Concord and Shepherd universities have expressed safety concerns regarding the bill’s passage, as well. 

“Today, Governor Jim Justice makes it clear – criminals, you are not welcome here,” Thomm added. “And our people are not at your mercy.” 

Introduced by Thomm as being, “The most pro-gun governor West Virginia has seen in a very long time,” Justice told those in attendance: “West Virginia has been an unbelievable supporter of the 2nd. Amendment for a long, long, long time.”

NRA State Director Art Thomm and Gov. Jim Justice address state lawmakers and representatives from the W.Va. Citizens Defense League on March 1.

“We’ve been a national leader,” Justice said. “We absolutely need to put our stake in the sand. That’s all there is to it.”

Justice expressed his belief that “gun completely free areas” are more susceptible targets for potential shootings and other violence. 

“This is just saying that the law-abiding people have a right to carry if they choose to do so,” Justice added. “We just hope and pray that there’s never a problem, and we can’t ensure in any way that there’s never a problem.”

“For God’s sake-a-livin, we gotta stand rock solid, by who we are, and by the 2nd. Amendment, and all the greatness that we are in this great state,” Justice concluded, “And send the message to the world – by God, if you wanna mess with us, we can mess back.” 

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