This story just came to WVCDL's attention this evening and we will be following it very closely. Thanks to Clint Sullivan for bringing this story to our attention. Those of you in the Eastern Panhandle should be prepared to take action in response to this story, so check your e-mail regularly and follow the advice in the item above for staying in touch with WVCDL.
In a nutshell, West Virginia state law does not criminalize carrying on a college, university, or other post-secondary educational institution's campus. As it relates to schools, W.Va. Code § 61-7-11a(b)(1) provides: "It shall be unlawful for any person to possess any firearm or any other deadly weapon on any school bus as defined in section one, article one, chapter seventeen-a of this code, or in or on any public or private primary or secondary education building, structure, facility or grounds thereof, including any vocational education building, structure, facility or grounds thereof where secondary vocational education programs are conducted or at any school-sponsored function." This language is very clear and does not include post-secondary institutions (universities, colleges, community colleges, etc.).
Even if there was a violation of some campus policy (whose legality under state law I would seriously question), a campus rule violation is not grounds for a lawful arrest--much less felony charges.
I hope Joshua Beck gets a good attorney. As this story did not indicate whether Mr. Beck had a concealed handgun license, I cannot say right now whether Mr. Beck's conduct was completely legal. If Mr. Beck did not have a CHL, he could still be charged & convicted of a misdemeanor concealed weapons charge under W.Va. Code § 61-7-3. However, if Mr. Beck had a CHL, there was no crime and he could actually have a good case for a civil lawsuit for a variety of claims.
We will let you know more about this case when we have additional information.