Having concealed handguns on college campuses attract group of CCU students

Having concealed handguns on college campuses attract group of CCU students

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Coastal Carolina Conservatives Group is fighting to see fellow classmates carry more than just textbooks into classrooms and around campus.

For two years now, the student activism group mainly focused on speaking to peers about constitutional rights.

Now the group wants to see students who are at least 21 years-old and have a concealed weapons permit carry their guns while on campus.

It's a part of Bill H 3248 or known as campus carry, pre-filed in the South Carolina House.

With the bill, universities can create specific rules for their community.

For example, if CCU wanted to declare a no-gun at sporting events policy, leaders have the right to change the language of the bill for the university.

Right now, eight states allow students to carry guns into college buildings, but South Carolina isn't one.

To back up their cause to push this forward, the Coastal Carolina Conservatives group, plans to create petitions and host round table events on campus to educate people about the law, the currents laws and what the law will allow.

They're already active on Facebook, pushing #SC CampusCarry through press releases and Facebook live.

"Right now we're aiming for the big three, being USC, Clemson and us, we're going to try and coordinate with them to do stuff as well, we plan on going to Columbia, go to the hearing and testifying, speaking as students what our thoughts to the program is, and on top of that we're looking at bringing pro-campus carry speakers to campus," Coastal Carolina Conservatives Chairman Cody Fongemie.

While many people might fear this bill will encourage violence, the organization is promoting the idea with belief an armed student body could prevent situations like sexual assaults.

Students within the organization feel the law will likely only include a small number of students - given that students must be a certain age.

But WMBF News talked to people who are concerned, saying guns have no place on campus and the law may even discourage students from attending CCU or other public universities in the state.

Supporters of the law say it's important to self-defend whether a student is walking on campus late at night by themselves or they become a potential victim of sexual assault.

"It's a safe thing, it's nothing different than you walking and going to the grocery store every day, there's a conceal weapons carry permit holder every day and you don't know it," Fongemie said.

"Conceal carry weapon holders are the most law abiding citizens when it comes to gun ownership and they go through all this training."

Currently, CCU students and guests who have their Concealed Weapons Permit are not allowed to carry a gun on campus.

Group members fighting this say the rule violates their 2nd amendment rights, another reason they are pushing for the pre-filed bill.

Horry County's own state representative, Russell Fry, submitted this bill in the South Carolina General Assembly.

It is currently under review by the Judiciary Committee.

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