Campus Carry

Office of Public Safety

Senate Bill 10, the West Virginia Self-Defense Act or the Campus Self-defense act (§18B-4-5b), was signed into law in the Spring of 2023. The law will allow those with a valid license to carry a concealed weapon in designated areas on the Mountwest campus starting July 1, 2024. The bill only permits the concealed carrying of a pistol or revolver.

Licenses to carry a concealed weapon are issued by the State of West Virginia pursuant to §61-7-4, §61-7-4a or recognized by §61-7-6a of the WV Code. The bill also prevents institutions like Mountwest, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission or the Community and Technical College System, from implementing policies that restrict concealed carry.


“Campus Carry” is the common name for the law that authorizes a license holder to carry a concealed handgun at institutions of higher education in West Virginia.

The difference between campus carry and open carry lies in their regulations regarding the carrying of handguns:

  1. Campus Carry:
    • Definition: Campus carry, also known as Senate Bill 10, permits individuals with a valid concealed handgun license (CHL) to carry concealed weapons in specific areas on college campuses, including Marshall University.
    • Scope: It applies only to those with a valid license and allows concealed carry in designated areas.
    • Exemptions: Universities can create guidelines and exempt certain parts of campus from the law, but they cannot violate the spirit of the law.
  2. Open Carry:
    • Definition: Open carry refers to the open display of handguns.
    • Campus Prohibition: The open carry of weapons on college campuses is not permitted.

In summary, campus carry allows concealed carry with a valid license, while open carry pertains to openly displaying handguns and is prohibited on college campuses in West Virginia.

There are 12 exceptions to the campus carry law and  those are the only times a gun-free zone can be established.

  1. Organized Events: Concealed carry is prohibited at organized events held in stadiums or arenas with a capacity of more than 1,000 spectators.
  2. Campus Daycare: Concealed carry is not allowed at campus daycare facilities.
  3. K-12 School-Sponsored Functions: During K-12 school-sponsored events occurring on campus, concealed carry is banned.
  4. Patient-Care Areas: Concealed carry is prohibited in patient-care areas.
  5. Residence Halls (Except Common Areas): While concealed carry is generally not allowed in residence halls, common areas are an exception.
  6. Arena or Stadium Events: Concealed carry is forbidden at organized events in arenas or stadiums with a capacity exceeding 1,000 spectators.
  7. Childcare Facilities: Concealed carry is not permitted in childcare facilities on campus.
  8. K-12 School Functions: Concealed carry is banned during K-12 school-sponsored functions held on campus.
  9. Patient-Care and Mental Health Spaces: Firearms are prohibited in patient-care areas and mental health/patient care counseling spaces.
  10. Formal Disciplinary/Grievance Hearings: Concealed carry is not allowed during formal disciplinary or grievance hearings.
  11. Individual Office Spaces: Private offices have the option to be gun free zones.
  12. Residence Hall Rooms (Except Lounges, Dining Areas, and Study Areas): While concealed carry is generally not allowed in residence halls, it is permitted in common areas such as lounges, dining areas, and study spaces. Note – guns will be stored in a safe in the students’ room, but carrying in other private rooms will not be permitted.

Prior to entering a restricted area or event, firearms must be stored in a concealed manner in the owner’s vehicle.  If you did not drive or have access to a vehicle, please note it is the responsibility of the firearm owner to predetermine if they are/will be entering a restricted area before bringing the firearm to campus.

Contact Public Safety at or 304-710-3499.

No. Senate Bill 10, also known as the Campus Self-Defense Act, permits individuals with a valid license to carry a concealed weapon in specific areas on Marshall’s campuses and centers. However, it’s important to note that this law does not allow everyone to carry a concealed weapon; it applies only to those with a valid license.

To be eligible for a concealed handgun license (CHL) in West Virginia, a person must meet the following requirements:

  1. Age: Applicants must be at least 21 years old to apply for a regular CHL. However, individuals between 18 and 20 years old can obtain a provisional CHL to lawfully carry a concealed handgun without other lawful authorization.
  2. Firearm Training: Applicants must complete a West Virginia concealed carry permit course that provides firearm training.
  3. Citizenship or Legal Residency: Applicants must be a United States citizen or legal resident.
  4. County of Residence: Applicants must reside in the county from which they are making the application

The WV statue covers only handguns. A handgun is a pistol, revolver or other firearm the length of the barrel, which, not including any revolving, detachable, or magazine breech, does not exceed 12 inches. Other weapons -rifles or shotguns – are not permitted in campus buildings.

Contact the Office of Public Safety

Rodney Pell

Chief Operations Officer


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