Republican West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice formally signed a invoice into regulation that permits hid raise allow holders to hold their firearms at the campuses of state faculties and universities.
“I’m proud to sign the Campus Self-Defense Act, which will strengthen Second Amendment protections in West Virginia. West Virginia now joins 11 other U.S. states, including Texas and Utah, that have had this legislation for years,” Justice mentioned, in keeping with WVNS.
The NRA-backed invoice handed the West Virginia House of Delegates final week at a vote of 84-13. The regulation will take impact on July 1, 2024.
“I’ve always said I will do everything I can to protect West Virginia’s Second Amendment rights, and with this law, West Virginia will continue to be a national leader. I sincerely thank the legislature for passing this bill overwhelmingly and the National Rifle Association for their support,” Justice added.
WEST VIRGINIA LAWMAKERS OVERWHELMINGLY APPROVE NRA-BACKED CAMPUS CARRY BILL, SEND TO GOVERNOR FOR SIGNING
The invoice bans the open raise of a firearm on a school or college campus and lets in faculties to enforce exceptions. It additionally prohibits other folks from taking weapons into spaces with a capability of greater than 1,000 spectators, similar to at soccer video games.
Justice mentioned it was once a “proud day” for him as he signed the invoice, including that the regulation sends “a message to the world, by God, if you want to mess with us, we can mess back.”
“This is just saying the law-abiding people have a right to be able to carry if they choose to do so. We just hope and pray that there’s never a problem. We can’t ensure in any way that there won’t be a problem,” he added.
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West Virginia National Rifle Association Director Art Thomm was once additionally provide all through the signing, and he celebrated the regulation as one that may additional offer protection to Americans from criminals.
“Time and again, America has seen violent criminals target their attacks on campuses and other places where law-abiding people are prohibited from carrying guns for protection,” Thomm mentioned, in keeping with WTAP. “Today, Gov. Jim Justice makes it clear: Criminals, you are not welcome here, and our people are not at your mercy.”
Local lawmakers who voiced improve for the invoice come with Republican Delegate Mike Honaker, a former Virginia State Police officer who answered to the Virginia Tech campus taking pictures in 2007 that left 32 other folks lifeless.
“I know we have to be careful about this issue,” he mentioned final month. “But there’s no way that I, as someone who has lived through this and seen it with my own eyes, could forbid another free, law-abiding American citizen from carrying a firearm and retaining the ability and the capacity to defend yourself or others, God forbid they ever be put in a position to do it,” he mentioned final week because the invoice complex within the legislature.
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Votes at the invoice final month got here simply days after a taking pictures at Michigan State University on Feb. 13, when 3 scholars have been killed and 5 others have been injured. Critics of the invoice cited the taking pictures of their argument in opposition to the regulation, with some school scholars in West Virginia attending a public listening to to voice their considerations.
“This bill is like throwing kerosene on the wildfire, and it is appalling that we even need to say that while there’s still blood on the ground at Michigan State,” Marshall University scholar E.T. Bowen mentioned in protest of the invoice.
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Thomm prior to now spoke to Fox News Digital in regards to the invoice and argued that criminals ruin regulations regardless of if there’s a gun-free zone or different laws prohibiting firearms.
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“Criminals break laws regardless of boundaries or gun-free zones. Law-abiding people don’t. NRA-backed campus carry has been passed in many states, and we look forward to Gov. Justice signing this life-saving legislation into law,” Thomm mentioned.
The Associated Press contributed to this document.