Campus Carry FAQ


Can I legally carry a gun on West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) property?

Until July 1, 2024, the answer is no. WVSOM prohibits the possession or storage of deadly weapons and destructive devices on campus.

What will change on July 1, 2024?

July 1, 2024, is the take-effect date for the Campus Self-Defense Act.

Passed by the West Virginia Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Jim Justice in 2023, the Campus Self-Defense Act allows a person to carry a concealed pistol or revolver on the grounds of an institution of higher education, with some exceptions, if that person has a current and valid license to carry a concealed deadly weapon.

The law applies to on-campus locations, with exceptions.

Why is West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine making this change?

WVSOM is following the state law passed by the West Virginia Legislature and signed by Gov. Jim Justice in 2023. All higher education institutions in West Virginia are required to adhere to the Campus Self-Defense Act.

Is it possible that the law will not go into effect?

No. WVSOM joined other colleges and universities to oppose this type of legislation in favor of local control for several years prior to last year’s passage. Now, WVSOM is required to follow state law.

How does the law define pistol? How does the law define revolver?

Pistol is defined as “a short firearm having a chamber which is integral with the barrel, designed to be aimed and fired by the use of a single hand.”

Revolver is defined as “a short firearm having a cylinder of several chambers that are brought successively into line with the barrel to be discharged, designed to be aimed and fired by the use of a single hand.”

“By the use of a single hand” is the key phrase. Also, the pistol or revolver must be concealed and carried by a person who is licensed to do so.

After the law change on July 1, 2024, will people be able to carry guns openly on campus property?

No. Only people who are licensed to carry a concealed pistol or revolver will be permitted to have the weapons in areas where they are allowed, and the weapons must not be visible.

WVSOM will still prohibit other firearms, deadly weapons and dangerous objects.

If I have a current and valid concealed carry license from another state, will I be able to legally carry a pistol or revolver on permitted colleges property after July 1, 2024?

Yes, if the license was issued in a state that has reciprocity with West Virginia.

See the Office of the West Virginia Attorney General’s reciprocity list.

Is a provisional license issued under West Virginia law acceptable under the Campus Self-Defense Act?


If most people can carry a gun in West Virginia without a license, why does someone need a concealed deadly weapon license?

Although West Virginia is a constitutional carry state, a license to carry a concealed deadly weapon may provide that person with some additional rights to carry a weapon in places where it might otherwise be prohibited, including other states or in specific areas on college campuses in West Virginia.

Where can I get more information about obtaining a current and valid license to carry a concealed weapon?

In West Virginia, applications for concealed carry permits are processed through sheriff’s departments in counties of residence. For non-residents, applications can be filed at any county sheriff’s department.

Is training required to carry a concealed weapon in West Virginia?

West Virginia law requires the completion of a training course in handling and firing a handgun "with live firing of ammunition by the applicant."

The Campus Self-Defense Act does not require any specific additional training. 


What are the exceptions to the requirements in the Campus Self-Defense Act? Senate Bill 10

In general, the state law allows for exceptions to the Campus Self-Defense Act, meaning all guns, including pistols and revolvers, will remain prohibited for even licensed carriers in certain campus locations.

Read more about the exceptions listed in state code.

To address specifics of implementation throughout WVSOM review Institutional Policy PP-03.

Where on campus are concealed pistols and revolvers allowed by those with a current and valid license beginning July 1, 2024?

Concealed pistols and revolvers are permitted anywhere on campus with the exception of areas that are posted as restricted areas.

What is considered the “WVSOM Campus?

“WVSOM Campus” means all areas, including buildings, that are under custodial possession of the WVSOM Board of Governors and within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area and used in direct support of, or in a manner related to, the University’s educational purposes. It does not include areas rented, leased, or under full-time occupancy and checkuse by a private entity.

If I have a valid concealed carry license, where am I NOT allowed to carry my pistol or revolver on WVSOM property starting July 1, 2024?

Current licensed concealed carry individuals are NOT allowed to carry a pistol or revolver in the following areas:

  • “In the secure area of any building used by a law-enforcement agency on the property of the state institution of higher education” this will mean WVSOM Campus Security Offices and the West Virginia State Police building on WVSOM Campus.
  • “In an on-campus room or rooms in which a student or employee disciplinary proceeding is being held”. These areas will be posted.
  • “In specifically designated areas in which patient-care or mental health counseling is being provided”. This is specific to the ASPIRE department, and the Animal Lab located on the second floor of the Science Building.

If there are minors on campus in a certain area, does that area automatically fall under the exceptions to the Campus Self-Defense Act, meaning no campus carry?

No. Only daycare facilities and specific functions under exclusive use of the state Department of Education, the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission, a county school board or a local public school are exempt.

Prohibited areas may be identified with signs.

If my office is in a building that has student conduct or employee disciplinary hearings, am I allowed to carry a pistol or revolver?

It depends. Concealed pistols or revolvers are not permitted in those types of hearings. If a hearing is not being held, and your office is not in a room where such a hearing is being held, concealed pistols or revolvers would be allowed if no other exceptions apply.

I am attending a private function at a WVSOM location that is being rented, leased or designated for the exclusive use of that private entity. How will I know if concealed pistols or revolvers are permitted?

It is up to the private entity to provide information about the concealed carry allowances.

What areas are designated as “patient care” or “mental health counseling” areas?

Designated areas will be marked with “No concealed carry” signage in many cases.

What areas are designated as “high hazardous and animal laboratories?"

Starting July 1, 2024, most designated areas will be marked with “No Deadly Weapons Permitted” signage. 

If I have a valid concealed carry license, can I carry my pistol or revolver in my backpack?

Yes, if the backpack is always in your sole, close possession. Please note that “concealed” is defined as “hidden from ordinary observation so as to prevent disclosure or recognition.” The backpack must be “on or about” your person.

Will WVSOM provide lockers or safes for gun storage on campus by WVSOM community members?


I am an employee with a valid concealed carry license. Am I allowed to carry my firearm while driving a state vehicle or a rental vehicle while on WVSOM business?

If you are on campus, then it does not matter whether you are in a vehicle – the general rule will apply. However, if you are off campus, then employees will be subject to the applicable laws, and it is your responsibility to know them. Although employees may be able to carry on campus, there is nothing in the Campus Self-Defense Act or the Business Liability Protection Act that allows employees to store pistols or revolvers in state vehicles.


Who is responsible for knowing and following the provisions in the Campus Self-Defense Act?

The individual carrying the gun or revolver is expected to know and follow applicable laws.

What should I do if I see a person carrying a pistol, revolver or any other type of deadly weapon or dangerous object openly?

The law requires pistols and revolvers to remain concealed.

If a person’s pistol or revolver is not concealed — meaning it is fully showing, outlined or becomes visible as they move — contact WVSOM Security at 304-647-8911 and provide as much information as possible. An officer will follow up with the situation, when warranted.

If you see a rifle or larger firearm on campus or if anyone is ever acting in a threatening or suspicious manner with any firearm, including a pistol or revolver that is supposed to be concealed, call 911 immediately.

How will I know where concealed carry is NOT allowed on campus starting July 1, 2024?

Signs will be used to designate excluded areas.

Additionally, in some cases, “No Deadly Weapons Permitted” notices will be included on ads, tickets or other communications, when applicable. A list of excluded areas can be found on the WVSOM map.

What if I am carrying a concealed revolver or pistol and I have to go into an area where concealed revolvers and pistols are prohibited?

Members of the WVSOM community should make plans to store or leave at home anything that would be prohibited in a specific area where they must go to do their job or attend class.

Employees or students may, consistent with their schedule, decide to secure any pistols or revolvers they may be carrying in their vehicles as long as vehicles are locked and guns are out of view, as required by the West Virginia Business Liability Protection Act.

What should I do if I think a person has a concealed pistol or revolver in a prohibited area?

Contact WVSOM Campus Security at 304-647-8911. An officer will make the determination and, if necessary, ask the person to leave. Refusing to do so may warrant further action from Campus Security.

What happens if a WVSOM employee or student violates Campus Carry?

Any employee or student who does not follow the requirements of Campus Carry could face disciplinary action, including a warning, suspension, termination, expulsion, or other appropriate step. Conduct that may not violate this specific Institutional Policy, PP-03 Campus Use and Restrictions, Including Deadly Weapons could still be prohibited under a different policy or standard of behavior which may lead to additional action. Violators may also subject person to criminal liability.

What happens if a person who is not a WVSOM employee or student violates Campus Carry?

That person may be asked to leave campus or temporarily turn over the prohibited item. Refusal could potentially lead to a criminal charge or a trespassing notice.