Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia will be allowing students who are 21 and older and have a valid permit from the state of Virginia to keep their handguns with them in their dorm rooms.
The Christian Post reports that currently, students 21 or older with valid concealed carry permits are allowed to carry their weapons on campus at the large conservative Christian school, but must store them in their vehicle when in their dorm room.
The university’s chancellor, Jerry Falwell, Jr. said this presents a problem since a student at Liberty may be a 15 minute bus ride away from his or her vehicle due to the expanding campus.
Lynchburg news source The News & Advance reported that the university’s board of trustees recently approved Falwell’s request to expand the school’s gun policy.
Falwell said his concern about the issue originated after the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007.
"It was because of what happened just an hour and a half up the road at Virginia Tech," Falwell told students and staff gathered at convocation on December 9, 2015, explaining why he pushed the university to lift the ban on concealed weapons on campus in 2011.
"More than 30 innocent students and faculty were just murdered viciously and none of them had the ability to protect themselves.From the day that happened, I thought we needed to do something here at Liberty,” he continued.
Falwell believes allowing students to keep their handguns in dorm rooms will increase university safety. He notes that the new policy will actually only affect about 20 students since only about 20 of the 200 students who are 21 or over and live on campus have concealed carry permits.
Liberty is the nation’s largest Christian university, with 14,500 residential students and an additional 95,000 online students.
Publication date: May 16, 2016