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Fairmont State University approves new concealed firearms policy

FAIRMONT — Fairmont State University’s Board of Governors has approved a new policy to allow concealed firearms on campus. The policy, referred to as Policy #GA-08, provides guidelines for the implementation of the West Virginia Campus Self-defense Act, which was passed by the West Virginia Legislature in 2023 and will take effect on July 1, 2024.

“Fairmont State takes this law and the possession of concealed handguns on campus very seriously,” said President Mike Davis. In preparation, Davis established the Campus Carry Committee (CCC) in Fall 2023 to study and recommend actions. This was done in consultation with campus leadership.

“The committee thoroughly researched and vigorously discussed the issues, resulting in an outstanding list of suggestions. The Board of Governors’ approval of Policy #GA-08 formalizes Fairmont State’s approach,” Davis said.

The University has acknowledged the complexity of the law and emphasized the importance of comprehensive communications, both written and in-person. President Davis highlighted the university’s inclusive approach.

“During our student forum, held near the end of the spring semester, we heard from both a student who owns firearms and another who had been affected by gun violence. Both students had an opportunity to respectfully express their perspectives in an ideologically neutral setting. I’m proud of them, of the Student Government Association for hosting that forum, and of all campus constituencies for the respectful way they’ve approached campus carry,” Davis said.

BOG Policy #GA-08 details the areas on campus where individuals with a valid concealed handgun license may carry their weapons. Exceptions include residence hall rooms, events of 1,000 people or more, disciplinary hearings, and areas where patient care or mental health counseling is provided.

The University aims to be fully compliant with the law by July 1, including placing signage on the doors of spaces where concealed carry is prohibited. Expanded FAQs will be available on the Campus Carry website.

During July and August, additional signage will be posted, new infographics developed, and a robust communication plan implemented. Fairmont State’s fall semester starts on August 26, with new students moving in on August 22.

“My goal is that the Campus Self-defense Act will be a non-issue when the fall semester kicks off,” Davis said. “Furthermore, the committee will closely monitor implementation efforts and recommend updates to our procedures. In the end, I am confident that as a university community, we will do everything possible to both keep all Falcons safe and make sure they feel safe.”

For more information on BOG Policy #GA-08 and Campus Carry information, please visit www.fairmontstate.edu/campus-carry.

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