It is my opinion that the safe operation of the campus allows regulation of, or
under limited circumstances, prohibition of, firearms
by any persons attending events on campus, visiting dormitories or classroom buildings, attending specific events as invitees, or under any circumstance permitted by law
. The universal prohibition of firearms
by properly permitted persons other than students, faculty, administration, or employees, however, is not allowed
[emphasis added] under law. A board of visitors has responsibility for the protection of the students enrolled at their university. At the same time, the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States14 and by Article I, § 13, of the Constitution of Virginia,15 which protect all citizens, may not be summarily dismissed for transient reasons.
In light of the General Assembly’s specific statements regarding the limits of carrying concealed handguns and the grant of authority to colleges and universities to regulate the conduct of students and employees, it is my opinion that neither a board of visitors nor a president of a public college or university may infer authority from its enabling legislation to adopt a universal prohibition of carrying concealed handguns by holders with valid permits.
Accordingly, it is my opinion that the governing boards of Virginia’s public colleges and universities may not impose a general prohibition on the carrying of concealed weapons by permitted individuals. Pursuant to specific grants of statutory authority, however, it is my opinion that colleges and universities may regulate the conduct of students and employees to prohibit them from carrying concealed weapons on campus.