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From Gary Slider

By Staff | Jan 16, 2013

I just want to put the facts out so that people know who can legally make decisions about schools and keeping them safe.

Federal and state laws spell out many aspects of educating our children. Local schools have to do certain things to educate our children. There are laws and administrative rules that cover just about every aspect of our local education system. Even down to what our children eat in our schools. Then we have local rules and regulations.

There are federal and state laws about firearms in schools. The federal law states you can’t have a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school unless it is unloaded and cased. State law states that you can’t have firearms on any school property, even the parking lots. If a state allows some people other than police officers to carry a firearm on school property, the federal law doesn’t apply.

Now in W.Va. the law reads you can’t have a firearm on school property. But there is one exception. If the superintendent of the school system gives their written permission, a person can legally carry a concealed firearm on school property. The W.Va. law is below.

WV Code 61-7-11a. Possessing deadly weapons on premises of educational facilities;

(a) The Legislature hereby finds that the safety and welfare of the citizens of this state are inextricably dependent upon assurances of safety for children attending, and the persons employed by, schools in this state and for those persons employed with the judicial department of this state…

WV Code 61-7-14. Right of certain persons to limit possession of firearms on premises.

…That under no circumstances may any person possess or carry or cause the possession or carrying of any firearm or other deadly weapon on the premises of any primary or secondary educational facility in this state unless such person is a law-enforcement officer or he or she has the express written permission of the county school superintendent.

The WV Code can be seen here: www.legis.state.wv.us/WVCODE/Code.cfm?chap=61&art=7#07

I just wanted everyone to know that the power to protect our children in our schools is not up to the president, governor, or legislature. They have given that authority to the local school superintendent. The county school superintendent has the authority as spelled out in the law. That is how it should be.

Gary Slider

New Martinsville