UVA Police Chief Longo lobbying for bill to change gun carrying on university campuses

UVA Police Chief Tim Longo (FILE)
UVA Police Chief Tim Longo (FILE)(WVIR)
Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 4:03 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Virginia Senator Creigh Deeds (D) is pushing to change gun laws on public university campuses through senate bill1484.

In the 2021 General Assembly special session a law was enacted that prohibited the carrying and possession of firearms on state property, especially on the Capitol grounds. At that time, exempted institutions of higher education, like public universities were exempt. Deeds and UVAPD want to eliminate that exemption.

UVA Police Chief Tim Longo has been lobbying for the proposed bill in Richmond, due to the tragedy on UVA Grounds.

Longo says current university policy is not to have a gun on UVA Grounds. Sen. Deeds’ bill would make it criminal law, meaning UVA police would have the responsibility to enforce it, rather than university officials.

The bill has an exemption in place for when a firearm is for ROTC purposes or is in a class setting.

“As a practical matter, when you know something is a violation of criminal law you might think twice before you bring that that item on to our grounds,” Longo said.

“This is prospective, you know, we can’t undo what’s been done. We just have to live with it and try to make things better, and hopefully, this legislation, if it passes, will help prevent future tragedies,” Deeds said.

Deeds says the bill so far as bipartisan support. Longo says he will keep lobbying for it in Richmond as it continues to go through the Senate, and if it then goes to the House.

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