VIRGINIA

Liberty University students, staff apply for gun carry permits

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LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) - Dozens of Liberty University students and faculty have applied to carry guns on campus since the school changed its weapons policy in November, school officials said.

University officials said they have received 64 applications - 26 from students and 28 from faculty. The school will not say how many of those have been approved.

Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. tells the News & Advance of Lynchburg the new policy has garnered widespread support on campus. "The complaints have been almost non-existent," Falwell said.

"There were many, many thank-yous from students, faculty and staff . It was an outpouring of gratitude." The policy replaced a total ban on firearms on campus.

Now, students with concealed weapons permits can apply for permission from campus police to carry a gun on the outdoor grounds or in a locked car.

Visitors with permits can store their weapons in locked cars. Neither can carry a firearm into campus buildings, including classrooms, athletics facilities and dormitories.

Faculty and staff can apply for permission to carry weapons inside buildings.

The debate over allowing guns on campus has raged since a student gunman killed 32 students and faculty and himself at Virginia Tech in 2007.

Gun rights activists argue allowing students and faculty to carry weapons could help diffuse such situations.

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