Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says the no-guns-on-campus policy at the University of Virginia lacks the legal authority to overcome the gun-carrying rights of citizens with concealed weapons permits.
In a July 1 opinion letter, Cuccinelli draws a distinction between a George Mason University regulation banning guns in school buildings and the U.Va. policy prohibiting guns on school property. The GMU regulation was upheld by the Supreme Court of Virginia this year, but Cuccinelli notes the U.Va. ban is a mere policy and not a regulation.
“[A] regulation has the force of law, whereas a policy does not,” Cuccinelli wrote. Accordingly, he said, the statute allowing individuals with permits to carry concealed weapons trumps the school gun policy.
While disclaiming any expression of opinion about the wisdom of campus gun bans, Cuccinelli nevertheless offers a taste of his personal outlook: “It certainly can be argued that such policies are ineffectual because persons who wish to perpetrate violence will ignore them, and that the net effect of such policies is to leave defenseless the law-abiding citizens who follow these policies,” he wrote.
In April, Cuccinelli released an official opinion that “personal safety” would justify carrying a gun to a place of worship under a law banning guns in church “without good and sufficient reason.”
By Peter Vieth