ATHENS, WV (WVNS) — With the rise in gun violence in our area and even across the nation, public settings like college campuses and universities can feel unsafe.

The current laws set in West Virginia prohibit carrying guns on college university campuses.

However, a bill passed this January will allow people with concealed-carry permits to carry firearms on campus.

Megan Stafford is a senior at Concord University. She says she has thought over the bill for a while. Even with the bill in place, she says the University and the state overall, will have to make some big changes.

“Now we have to find out what we can do to make it better on campus. We are going to have to sit back and see what we can do.” said Stafford.

Included in the campus carry bill are restrictions on firearms at events such as football games or basketball games. Campus’ like Concord do not have metal detectors yet for such events.

Junior Kaitlyn Hughart says she has faith in Concord to enforce strict rules and regulations around the new bill.

“I think it is scary (new gun law) but I believe Concord is a relatively safe campus. But on the other hand we still need to think about gun safety overall.”

The bill includes exceptions when it comes to designated areas for patient care or mental health counseling. The Campus Self Defense Act will go into effect July of 2024.