Virginia Tech Attempts Back Door Gun Ban with Ammunition Ban on Campus
Resolution would also ban harmless Airsoft and Paintball gun ammunition in the name of student safety.
Virginia Tech, VA – -(AmmoLand.com)- On Monday, February 1, 2010 the Virginia Tech University Council will have their first reading of a resolution that would effectively Ban Ammunition, including Paintball and Airsoft, on campus and in dormitories.
Being the president of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus at Virginia Tech and a member of the Pistol and Rifle Club, I recognize how the passage of this resolution could negatively affect members of these organizations. It will also greatly affect those of you in the Airsoft Club, Paintball Club, Clay Target Team, and others. As such, I want to give you some background on the resolution and ask for your help in seeing that it does not pass.
I have attached a copy of the resolution:
Resolutions for Changes to the Hokie Handbook (www.hokiehandbook.vt.edu)
First Reading by Commission on Student Affairs: November 19, 2009
Second Reading by Commission on Student Affairs: December 3, 2009
Approved by Commission on Student Affairs: December 3, 2009
First Reading by University Council: February 1, 2010
Second Reading by University Council:
Approved by University Council:
Approved by the President:
Approved by Board of Visitors:
Commission on Student Affairs Resolution CSA 2009-2010C
Weapons Policy for Student Code of Conduct
- Whereas, the University Student Conduct System is an educational tool with two main objectives: to hold students accountable for unacceptable behavior, and to modify those behaviors deemed unacceptable by the university, and
- Whereas, the University Student Conduct System strives to address unacceptable behavior in a manner that informs students and guides them toward a greater sense of personal responsibility, and more mature and ethical standards, and
- Whereas, current policy (contained in the Hokie Handbook) already states that unauthorized storage, possession, and/or use of weapons is prohibited on university property, and
- Whereas, the University is committed to policies and procedures that address campus safety and security, and
- Whereas, the University would like to convey to students that since weapons are not allowed in on campus residential facilities that ammunition should also be prohibited, therefore let it be
Resolved, that Policy # 8300, Student Code of Conduct – Weapons be amended as follows:
Student Code of Conduct – Weapons
Unauthorized possession, storage, or control of firearms, weapons, on university property, including storing weapons in vehicles on campus as well as in the residence halls. Furthermore, ammunition can not be stored in any residence halls on campus. (Note: organizational weapons of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets, approved by the commandant, are not prohibited by this policy.) Weapons
Firearms are defined as any gun, rifle, pistol, or handgun designed to fire any projectile including but not limited to bullets, BBs, pellets, or shots (including paint balls), regardless of the propellant used. Ammunition is defined as any material intended for use in a firearm, capable of being projected by a weapon and/or makes the weapon operational. Other weapons are defined as any instrument of combat or any object not designed as an instrument of combat but carried for the purpose of inflicting or threatening bodily injury.
Examples include but are not limited to knives with fixed blades or pocket knives with blades longer than 4 inches, razors, metal knuckles, blackjacks, hatchets, bows and arrows, nun chukkas, foils, stun weapons, or any explosive or incendiary device. Possession of realistic replicas of weapons on campus is prohibited. Stun weapon is defined as any device that emits a momentary or pulsed output, which is electrical, audible, optical or electromagnetic in nature and which is designed to temporarily incapacitate a person.
Students who store weapons in residence hall rooms, who brandish weapons, or who use a weapon in a reckless manner may face disciplinary action, which may include suspension or dismissal from the university. Students who store ammunition in the residence halls will face disciplinary action. Exceptions to possessing weapons may be made in the case of university functions or activities and for educational exhibitions or displays. Exceptions must be approved by the Vice President for Administrative Services, in consultation with appropriate university offices.
This policy does not prohibit the possession of firearms by persons, such as law enforcement officers, who are authorized by law to do so in the performance of their duties. A weapons storage program is available. The storage program applies to the weapon and ammunition. Ammunition that will not be stored includes Paintballs, BB’s, Air Soft projectiles, Nerf gun projectiles, and CO2 Cartridges. Interested persons should contact the Virginia Tech Police (Sterrett Facilities Complex, 231-6411.)
I want to point out a few key things:
- Ammunition (including bullets, BBs, airsoft pellets, and paintball) would now fall under the definition of a weapon, the possession of which on campus and in dorms would be punishable (up to dismissal or suspension from VT)
- The VT Police Department will begin storing CERTAIN types of ammunition (NOT airsoft or paintball) on a first come, first serve basis. There is absolutely NO indication of how much ammunition they will be able to accommodate.
Myself, Ken Stanton (VP of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus at VT), and Ethan Reed (Secretary of Pistol & Rifle Club) were present at the last meeting in which this resolution was discussed (the Commission on Student Affairs meeting).
Mrs. Frances Keene, the author of this resolution, cites “safety issues”(ie explosions of ammunition during a fire) as her main reason for concern.
Despite Ethan citing opposing research on the issue of safety, many members of the commission chose to simply trust Mrs. Keene on the issue, mentioning perceived fears as their reason for wanting to pass the resolution.
Further, these safety issues do not explain the reasoning behind also banning paintballs and airsoft pellets.
After discussing the safety issues and concerns about how much ammunition the VTPD would or would not be able to store, several members of the commission raised concerns about not having enough information to make an informed vote on the issue.
A motion was made to resume discussion and invite representatives who were more knowledgeable on all sides of the issue, but this motion was struck down. With “encouragement” from a few key members of the commission, a hasty vote was made, and the resolution passed.
I am a member of the University Council where the resolution will be heard on Monday, and I am more than willing to speak to this issue. However, I cannot do this alone. We need to make the council aware that there is credible research showing that safety is not an issue in ammunition storage on campus. We also need to show them exactly who this ammunition ban would affect (ie you and/or your group’s members who live on campus).
The council meets in Pamplin 1045 from 3-5pm on February 1; this resolution is one of the first things on the agenda for the meeting, so please be prompt.
Feel free to email me with any questions or comments.Thank you, S. Alyson Boyce President, Students for Concealed Carry on Campus at Virginia Tech
SCCC at Virginia Tech (SCCC at VT) is a local chapter of the national organization, Students for Concealed Carry on Campus (SCCC), founded to organize locally and to address issues specific to the university and the state of Virginia. Membership is currently based off of the Facebook group, with over 200 members.