After talking with the VP's assistant a little under 3 weeks ago, I am scheduled to talk to Virginia Tech's Vice President of Business Affairs tomorrow in regards to the campus firearms policy. Apparently, "Business Affairs" is a fancy name for "Security and Infrastructure."
First, a little background about myself. I'm 20 years old, so I don't have a permit and I don't even own a pistol. I'm a Mechanical Engineering student here at VT who has two big interests in cars and guns. One of the things I enjoy most is taking someone to the shooting range who has never been before. I don't drink (never been drunk) and I don't smoke anything (never tried it). I take life seriously, and my personal security is no exception.
My goal is that citizens who have gone through the proper and difficult process of obtaining a Concealed Carry Permit should be allowed to carry on campus. Virginia Tech has been wrongfully represented by 3 people on this stance, one was a spokesperson, one a faculty member, and one is the Chief of Police. The wrong voices are being heard.
It was fairly easy to convince the first person I talked to, but I think the road is going to be rough as hell from here on out. The odds of this actually getting through to a policy change are slim to none, but I'll kick myself if I don't try. I don't really know the process of how policy changes at this college work, but I should have an update up tomorrow for you guys.
I'm tired of people my age who believe that protection for their life is a "just a phone call away."
Wish me luck, and I'll keep you guys posted on the progress I may or may not be having.
The questionable heritage of Edmund Burke's apocryphal quotation, 'All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing,' doesn't invalidate the sentiment.
My first question was "what has to happen for this policy to be changed?" And the answer he gave me was that the state would have to pass legislation demanding that it be changed. In short, at that point the entire meeting with him was pointless. After he made that statement, I should have thanked him and left.
Well I didn't and we had an hour long discussion about all of it. The university's policy is in effect because "the majority of students would feel uncomfortable if there were guns on campus." Which is true. "But then the majority of campus is Christian... so why isn't there anything about Christmas on campus?" He didn't have an answer for that. And on top of that, give me one example in the history of man when a person's comfort rightfully took precedence over security and safety.
Let me give you some random quotes throughout the conversation.
Krause: guns in a classroom are not necessary
Me: so... in your opinion, when do they become necessary?
Me: The VT policy states that noone but the VT Police should apprehend an alleged offender.
Krause: That's right.
Me: So what should I do if I see someone getting raped in a parking lot on my way back from my 9pm class?
Krause: Call the police.
Me: Average response time is how long?
Krause: 2 minutes.
Me: And what do I do during those 2 minutes?
Krause: Yell "stop."
Me: Our representatives in Richmond and in D.C. believe that one written letter to a senator represents 100 citizens. Does that same thing apply here at VT? How many people would it take?
Krause: Not really, a petition of a couple thousand names would be needed.
I have more, but I'm tired and still very angry that this was just listening for the sake of listening. The next step will have to go through the SGA and to maybe have a huge debate in Burruss or something. ORrrrrrrr get legislation passed in Virginia. Ha. I need to rest.
MaverickH1, take a look at this artical from Mace and Crown, ODU's student newspaper. Apparetnly the Campus Police approved this one person to carry. I wonder if there certain criteria to meet for the Capmus Police to allow such a thing.
SGA: Hot Button Issues Divide and Diversify
Benjamin J. Leyland Mace&Crown
The Student Government Association was asked to reconsider a past resolution that would recommend the university revoke its ban on firearms on campus, in their general meeting on Feb. 9. The request came during the public comment section; improved restroom facilities were also discussed, and another resolution asking for more interesting graduation speakers is currently being planned.
Public comment was the longest part of the meeting, with Sgt. Jason Haag of the Navy ROTC asking for a discussion on the current handgun regulations at ODU.
Haag said that because of the recent armed robberies on campus, students should be able to carry firearms if they hold concealed weapon permits.
“In light of recent events, I don’t feel safe on this campus,” he said. “People who are of age should have a right to bear arms.”
Haag admitted to carrying a gun on campus, and said that the ODU police department has allowed him to do so. He was concerned however, that in residence halls and dorms, students are not allowed weapons of any kind, and suggested that the right to defend oneself in the home is being denied.
Last semester, Resolution No.3 was proposed in the Senate, which requested students be allowed to carry guns on campus. It was tabled indefinitely by an 11-5 vote with four abstentions after numerous students voiced concerns about the legislation. In order for the resolution to return to the SGA it must be significantly re-written.
Resolution No.3 suggested ODU’s firearms policy, number 1800 in university policies and procedures, infringed upon students’ rights under the constitution of Virginia. The policy states, “The possession, storage, or use of any kind of ammunition, firearms, explosives, air rifles, and air pistols on University-owned or operated property is prohibited.”
Adam Perry, student body president, supports the idea of the resolution returning, and feels there could be more debate on the subject rather than rejecting the idea.
“I personally don’t want to carry a handgun on campus,” he said. “But the university has no right to say that somebody who went through the proper procedures shouldn’t.”
Travis Posey, SGA executive vice president, pointed out during the meeting that .5 percent of gun crimes are committed by people with concealed carry permits. He also suggested a locker system might be implemented to ensure classrooms stay gun free, but students are still able to carry them when going to classes.
Posey supported Resolution No. 3 and said that he “warned something like this would happen” when the SGA discussed the shooting of ODU basketball player Brandon Johnson at the Jan. 26 meeting.
The SGA is also considering Resolution No. 9, which calls for the installation of a family bathroom in Webb University Center.
The resolution states that “Old Dominion University is a diverse community with diverse restroom needs,” and a family bathroom would provide “the desired global accessibility quality, whether a Family Bathroom user wishes to enter along, as a group, with a child, or as a male or female.”
The resolution was suggested at a Webb Council meeting by Josh Allen, who is currently waiting to be ratified as a student senator. Allen is transgender and currently in the process of becoming Jennifer Monet.
“I’m often put in positions where I conflict with society’s narrow binary gender typing, and right now I use the women’s restroom facilities but there are moments when I have insecurities over how people react to me,” Allen said.
“Conversely in the past I’ve used men’s restrooms … but I’ve always felt unsafe. Using either restroom can result in either verbal or physical abuse,” said Allen.
Allen did say that the more general wording of the resolution was to avoid a negative reaction from students and also because of the wider benefits of such a restroom.
“It’s not just transgender people who would benefit from this move,” said Allen “Single parents who have an opposite gender child would have the option to take the child into the restroom with them, people who have embarrassing problems such as diarrhea can have privacy, and handicapped people would have a more accessible facility.”
The resolution will receive a second reading at the meeting on Thursday, Feb 16.
Another resolution that is currently being written will request that the university bring in more famous speakers for the graduation ceremony.
“We took the feedback and reaction from students at the last three graduations and our job is to make things better and that’s one way we can try to do that,” said Perry about the resolution, which will be discussed in the SGA’s cabinet meeting on Feb 20.
Yes, yes I have that printed out, but it seems like it still hasn't been pushed through yet. Maybe I'm reading it incorrectly, but it sounds like they are at the next step that I'm thinking about going to. I wish them luck and I'm sure they wish the same for me.
Did anyone else cringe when they read "keep the handguns locked in a locker during class so classrooms stay gun free"?
Crud, I wish I had seen this earlier. As a Hokie Alum ('96), I stay very interested in campus affairs, and I would have gone with you in an instant if you needed support.
Thanks for trying though, you did a good thing.
Leaving aside the other important issues brought up in the article, especially the transgender, soon-to-be-ratified student senator's desire for a 'family' lavatory (unless it is truly intended to be a room for bathing) ...
Any ideas from anyone about the source of this statistic, which strikes me as mendacious, at best?
The statistic seems to be way off the mark ... and is probably more likely related to something like 0.5 percent of concealed carry permits are cancelled/not renewed because the permit holder committed proscribed acts.
If the statistic is wrong, the (student newspaper) record, at the least, should be corrected ... and Travis Posey should be identified as what he would appear to be.
From this NRA website: www.nraila.org/issues/factsheets/read.aspx?ID=189
I haven't done anything until this policy is changed
I wonder if ODU's prohibition is a recent one. When I first got my CCW, I told the judge one reason I wanted it was to carry when I went to classes at ODU. And I did so.
ODU had (has?) some anti-gun bone-head VP of something (Dana Somebody) who started using university resources to push for gun control legislation, and when his name showed up on a fundraising letter, I let know why I would not be giving. I also informed a local talk radio host, Tony Macrini (WNIS, AM 850?), and he did an afternoon radio show on the topic.
I dont think anythings going to change. Its going to be hard to convince peole already horrified of guns to let you have them on campus. They think everyone with a gun will pull a columbine. When I took my concealed carry class my instructor had a brief case with an outside pocket in which he kept his back up concealed carry weapon. He then told us where we cant carry, then said that brief case with gun goes where ever he goes. Better to be cought with it then without it he said. So does anyone know what the penality for carrying on campus is; fine, misdeamenor?
There are no criminal charges from what I understand. The only thing I could think of would be a trespassing violation. But you'd get expelled if you are a student and fired if you are faculty/staff.
The Attorney General put out an opinion in January that basically states that colleges and univeristies cannot restric the gernarl public from carrying on campus. But could regulate students and staff. I feel that preemption should also be considered in this opinion and from the list of laws referenced at the bottom it seems that it is not.
OP. NO. 05-078
EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS: GENERAL PROVISIONS — UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA – BOARD OF VISITORS.
CRIMES AND OFFENSES GENERALLY: CRIMES INVOLVING HEALTH AND SAFETY – OTHER ILLEGAL WEAPONS – DANGEROUS USE OF FIREARMS OR OTHER WEAPONS.
Governing boards of Virginia’s public colleges and universities may not impose general prohibition on carrying of concealed weapons by permitted individuals. Pursuant to specific grants of statutory authority, however, colleges and universities may regulate conduct of students and employees to prohibit them from carrying concealed weapons on campus.
The Honorable R. Creigh Deeds
Member, Senate of Virginia
January 4, 2006
You ask whether Virginia law allows public colleges and universities to prohibit the carrying of concealed weapons by permitted individuals onto public property.
It is my opinion that the governing boards of Virginia’s public colleges and universities may not impose a general prohibition on the carrying of concealed weapons by permitted individuals. Pursuant to specific grants of statutory authority, however, it is my opinion that colleges and universities may regulate the conduct of students and employees to prohibit them from carrying concealed weapons on campus.
You report that one of your constituents, an employee of the University of Virginia Medical Center, is the holder of a valid concealed weapons permit and would like to carry his firearm to and from the hospital, his place of employment. You further relate that you understand the University of Virginia has a policy prohibiting the carrying of weapons on campus.
Applicable Law and Discussion
The right of a citizen, with a properly issued permit, to carry a concealed handgun is considered universal within the Commonwealth, subject to limited constraints.1 The General Assembly specifically has set out those places where the carrying of a concealed handgun is prohibited: (1) places of worship;2 (2) courthouses;3 (3) elementary through high schools;4 (4) places licensed for on-premises alcoholic beverage consumption;5 and (4) such private property as may be prohibited by the owner.6 The right to carry openly has not been revoked by the General Assembly.7
Additionally, someone to whom a court has granted a concealed carry permit already has undergone an extensive criminal background check.8 Section 18.2-308(E) necessarily requires that the court is satisfied that the applicant has not received mental health treatment or substance abuse treatment within five years prior to the application, is not a user or distributor of controlled substances, is not an illegal alien, is not a fugitive from justice, and has not been convicted of any assault, sexual battery, stalking, or any of the other offenses detailed in subsection E.
It is well established in Virginia that a university, through its board, "‘has not only the powers expressly conferred upon it, but it also has the implied power to do whatever is reasonably necessary to effectuate the powers expressly granted.’"9 This broad authority does not, however, supersede statutory or case law, public policy, or explicit statements of the General Assembly regarding specific topics.10
The powers expressly conferred and possessed by the governing body of an educational institution include the authority "[t]o establish rules and regulations for the conduct of students while attending such institution"11 and "[t]o establish rules and regulations for the employment of professors, teachers, instructors, and all other employees and provide for their dismissal for failure to abide by such rules and regulations."12
The University of Virginia has promulgated a "Security and Firearms Policy," which provides that "[t]he possession, storage, or use of any kind of ammunition, firearms, fireworks, explosives, air rifles and air pistols on University-owned or operated property, without the expressed written permission of the University Police, is prohibited."13
It is my opinion that the safe operation of the campus allows regulation of, or under limited circumstances, prohibition of, firearms by any persons attending events on campus, visiting dormitories or classroom buildings, attending specific events as invitees, or under any circumstance permitted by law. The universal prohibition of firearms by properly permitted persons other than students, faculty, administration, or employees, however, is not allowed under law. A board of visitors has responsibility for the protection of the students enrolled at their university. At the same time, the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States14 and by Article I, § 13, of the Constitution of Virginia,15 which protect all citizens, may not be summarily dismissed for transient reasons.
In light of the General Assembly’s specific statements regarding the limits of carrying concealed handguns and the grant of authority to colleges and universities to regulate the conduct of students and employees, it is my opinion that neither a board of visitors nor a president of a public college or university may infer authority from its enabling legislation to adopt a universal prohibition of carrying concealed handguns by holders with valid permits.
Accordingly, it is my opinion that the governing boards of Virginia’s public colleges and universities may not impose a general prohibition on the carrying of concealed weapons by permitted individuals. Pursuant to specific grants of statutory authority, however, it is my opinion that colleges and universities may regulate the conduct of students and employees to prohibit them from carrying concealed weapons on campus.
1See generally Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308 (Supp. 2005).
2See § 18.2-283 (2004).
3See § 18.2-283.1 (2004).
4See § 18.2-308.1(B) (2005).
5See § 18.2-308(J3).
6See § 18.2-308(O).
7See § 18.2-287.4 (Supp. 2005) (prohibiting carrying of certain large ammunition capacity weapons); see also § 18.2-308 (prohibiting carrying of concealed weapons without permit).
8See § 18.2-308(D).
9Goodreau v. Rector & Visitors of Univ. of Va., 116 F.Supp.2d 694, 703 (W.D. Va. 2000) (quoting Batcheller v. Commonwealth, 176 Va. 109, 123, 10 S.E.2d 529, 535 (1940)).
10See Va. Code Ann. § 23-69 (2003) (providing that board of visitors "shall be at all times subject to the control of the General Assembly"); see also § 23-76 (2003) (providing that board of visitors may "make such regulations as they deem expedient, not being contrary to law" (emphasis added)); Jones v. Commonwealth, 267 Va. 218, 223, 591 S.E.2d 72, 75 (2004) (noting that University of Virginia is governmental entity under control of General Assembly).
11Section 23-9.2:3(A)(2) (Supp. 2005).
13University of Virginia, Financial and Administrative Policies, Section XV.J.1 ("Security and Firearms Policy"), ¶ 2.0 (Dec. 4, 1995), available at http://www.virginia.edu/finance/polproc/pol/xvj1.html.
14"[T]he right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." U.S. Const. amend. II.
15"[T]he right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Va. Const. art. I, § 13.
This is funny in itself.
Even funnier 2 hours after finishing Jeff Cooper's Principles of Self Defense.
You did a good thing trying. We can't stop just need to keep fighting
VT class of '99
I am currently enrolled at NoVA, and I always have my pistol on me.
I know what the 'rulebook' says, but if I need it, I would rather have it, than have to run all the way out to my car (where it can't be either, according to the rulebook) to get it.
If I get nailed, and have to go to the 'board', I will fight it.
I didn't serve for 11 years o have some pencil pusher decide when I can excercise my rights.
I let the Marine Corps do that long enough.
Good luck on your quest.
BS Chem '95
My college actually asked me on the first day of matriculation as a freshman, "Do you have any firearms you intend to bring to school? If so, stand in that line for your gun locker assignment".
Better than some, worse than it should be, I suppose...
You know, when i was overseas and the topic of Rules of Engagement came up, we always had a little saying in response that i think applies here: "I'd rather be tried by twelve, than carried by 6"