Private Va. University to Open Gun Range on Campus
School officials say the mountainside gun range will be designed to help prepare the school for an active shooter incident.
Liberty University in Virginia will open a large gun range on campus next fall as part of the school community’s effort to support gun rights.
University president Jerry Falwell Jr. announced the detailed construction plans, which call for at least $1 million of renovations to be spent, on Dec. 15.
The gun range will be built into the mountainside of the Evangelical Christian school’s 7,000 acre-campus, according to The Washington Post.
Falwell says the range will accommodate student clubs and athletic teams with facilities for pistol, rifle, shotgun and archery shooting.
“We have a very pro-Second Amendment student body,” Falwell told media outlets, adding that a student group dedicated to gun rights is one of the most engaged on campus.
Last year, Campus Safety reported on the school’s new policy that allows students, faculty and staff members to carry concealed handguns on campus and in residence halls. The school also began offering a course for students interested in earning a concealed carry permit in Virginia. Both of those decisions were based on the idea that an armed campus is safer than an unarmed one.
Falwell says more than 1,600 people have taken the concealed carry course, but only 20 students have requested the required documentation to carry a gun on campus.
School officials spoke with National Rifle Association executives before announcing the plans and will be consulting the pro-gun group throughout the construction process.
One of the main reasons for the range is to help prepare the school for an active shooter scenario, according to Falwell.
The university president also criticized the state’s ban of guns on college campuses. Liberty is exempt from that ban because it is a private institution.
The Lynchburg, Virginia campus houses 8,000 students but has a total enrollment of approximately 110,000 due to online course offerings.
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