Liberty University is blazing the trail for gun rights on campus.
Started by the late Jerry Falwell, the Lynchburg, Virginia-based university is set to open the nation’s first NRA-approved gun range if it gets approved. On December 5th, the issue was brought up at a public hearing in Campbell Country, VA.
Here’s a more concrete update from Students at Liberty for Gun Rights’ blog post on the subject:
Liberty University is currently planning to construct a new state of the art outdoor shooting complex near Camp Hideaway. The project was introduced in a public hearing of Campbell County’s Planning Commission on December 5 in which representatives from Liberty University proposed their plans for the range site.
Schematics for the range include a one, two, and three hundred-yard rifle range. It will also feature several shotgun ranges and stands for such shooting sports as skeet, trap, five stand, and sporting clays. Furthermore, the facility will include a pistol range, an area for three-gun competition, tactical shooting, and a potential police shoot-house.
Liberty University allowed concealed carry on campus dorms this fall. University policy is outlined as the following: “The policy is designed so persons with concealed weapons permits can carry them concealed on campus as they would off campus and keep their weapons in their locked cars while visiting campus without violating university policy. Similarly, members of the university community that are over 21 with concealed weapons permits can seek permission from LUPD to carry concealed weapons on campus and store them in their locked vehicles. Faculty and staff are allowed to have concealed weapons stored in secured containers in their offices once approved by LUPD. Resident students may carry concealed or store weapons in residence halls in a university provided safe once approved by LUPD. The weapons policy also outlines a procedure for members of the university community of any age to store their weapons with LUPD.”
The idea for the proposed shooting range came after National Rifle Association (NRA) Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre spoke on the campus earlier this year:
Yahoo!News has more on this partnership between the campus and NRA:
“The project was introduced to the NRA during [Executive Vice President] Wayne LaPierre’s visit to campus last spring,” Len Stevens, spokesperson for the university, told Yahoo News. “They have generously offered their expertise to help us develop it.”
Plans for the new gun range were motivated in part by a growing number of students signing up for Liberty’s handgun safety class, said Stevens. “We’ve had nearly 900 students go through the class since we first started it nearly two years ago,” he said. “The present facility has been deemed antiquated and ill-suited for that number of students by university leadership.”
In some ways, Liberty’s plans for an NRA-compliant shooting facility are the next logical move for the school. Last fall, the school’s stance on guns attracted national headlines when Jerry Falwell Jr., president of the Christian school, encouraged students to get their concealed carry permits in order to defend themselves against what he said was the threat of armed Muslim attacks.
This is a HUGE win for gun rights on campus. More guns in the hands of good people leads to the presence of fewer crimes committed by bad people with guns. Let’s hope this inspires more campus ranges elsewhere!