Pro-gun group to protest at universities statewide

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - One group is protesting the State Attorney General's opinion on gun carrying policies on college campuses. The Virginia Citizens Defense League says lawmakers are violating second amendment rights by trying to ban carrying concealed weapons on college campuses. Many students argue having guns on campus is a bad idea.

"I don't think there should be any type of weapons on this campus," said Brandon Zintner. "It's a college campus. There's no reason or point to have this on here."

According to the Roanoke Times the effort surfaced after Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said university policies aren't enough and that state regulation is needed to ban legal, concealed carry on campus.

VCU's policy on carrying weapons states: no person shall have in his or her possession any firearm, other weapon, or explosive, regardless of whether a license to possess the same has been issued, without the written authorization of the president of the university.

Police can carry guns and students say that's how it should be.

"There are already robberies and assaults in the area so I think making guns legal on campus would make the whole situation worse," said student James Fisher.

The VCDL argues people need to have a way to defend themselves in case something happens on campus and police are not around.

"I don't think it's safe because if something happens and they have to pull their weapon out, a stray bullet could hit a student so I would definitely vote against it," said student Latasha Armstead.

Regardless, the defense league plans on holding demonstrations at Virginia Tech then it will carry efforts to other campuses across the state.

The AG's office response to the concerns. In a written statement Cuccinelli's office said under current Virginia law, a public university generally cannot prohibit open or concealed carry of a firearm on campus grounds. However, Cuccinelli went on to say that a university can ban open carrying in certain buildings or events. A date has not yet been set for the VCDL's protest at VCU.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.