The law takes effect in July 2024.
People who have concealed carry licenses will be able to take firearms onto West Virginia public college campuses beginning July 1, 2024, based on a bill signed into law by Governor Jim Justice on March 1. Senate Bill 10 passed in the state Legislature after unsuccessful attempts in the 2018 and 2019 sessions.
Locations where SB10, “The Campus Self-Defense Act,” prohibits firearms include:
- organized events taking place at venues with a capacity greater than 1,000 spectators;
- residence hall rooms, although allowed in common areas like lounges, dining areas, and study areas;
- daycare facilities;
- formal disciplinary hearings;
- sole-occupancy office spaces;
- patient-care and mental health counseling spaces; and
- certain high-hazard and animal laboratories.
Concealed weapons will be permitted in classrooms and lecture halls, and institutions will have to provide secure storage space for weapons.
West Virginia issues concealed handgun licenses to those 21 and over and issues provisional concealed handgun licenses to those aged 18 to 20. All will be allowed on public campuses.
Campus carry is law in some form in 11 other states: Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.
West Virginia University announced that a Campus Safety Group will study best practices from other campuses’ experiences and make recommendations for implementation before the law goes into effect.