Students React to LU's New Weapon Policy
Reporter: Lauren Compton | Videographer: Steven Smith
Lynchburg, VA - Liberty University's amended policy will allow students with a concealed weapon's permit to leave a concealed weapon in their cars.
Some students say the old policy was very inconvenient. It required students to leave their firearms at the Liberty University Police Department while on campus. Others say this policy will make them feel a lot safer.
LU graduate student Ryan Thomas knows a thing or two about guns.
"I would describe myself as a gun hobbyist," he said. "This is a semi-automatic only not an assault rifle."
Like many students, he's applauding the university's move in allowing concealed firearms on campus parking lots.
"It's a step in the right direction," said Thomas.
A direction many students say will lead to a more empowered student body.
"It allows an individual to protect themselves, so if someone comes on campus with a gun with malicious intent there are people on campus who can defend themselves," said Zachary Hrabosky, a student.
While some students feel empowered, others aren't sure about having more guns on campus.
"It kind of freaks me out a little bit, I don't really like it," said Aleah Teer, a student.
Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. says professors will be allowed to carry a concealed weapon in LU buildings.
"If they apply, and LUPD decides they are responsible permit holders, they will be allowed." I call them deputies it would be an extension of the police department," said Falwell Jr.
It's a power many students say could have prevented a tragedy like Virginia Tech.
"It very well could have been different. There was one professor who was standing by the door blocking it while he was being shot through the door," said Thomas.
Another big factor in this was Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's opinion about college gun policies. Earlier this year, Cuccinelli said public university gun policies did not override a permit holder's rights.
To be able to leave the concealed weapons in cars on campus, students will have to fill out an application with LUPD. LU officials expect students can start applying next month.