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Liberty University president tells students to arm themselves

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr.'s call for an armed campus was greeted by applause at a Friday night convocation on the Virginia campus.

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    Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. listens at right as Republican Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson speaks at the university in Lynchburg, Va., Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015.
    (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
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The president of Liberty University is urging students at the Christian school to carry concealed weapons on the Virginia campus following the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California.

President Jerry Falwell Jr.'s call for an armed campus was greeted by applause at a Friday night convocation on the Lynchburg campus.

The News & Advance reports that Falwell encouraged students to take a free class to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon offered by the campus police department.

He said, "Let's teach them a lesson if they ever show up here."

Falwell said it "just blows my mind" that President Barack Obama called for more gun control laws.

Liberty was founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell Sr., who also launched the Moral Majority.

“There is a trend. The gun lobby is picking up around a state a year,”  Andy Pelosi, director of the campaign Keep Guns off Campus, told The Christian Science Monitor in March

“Texas is one of 15 states this year where bills have been introduced to allow arms on campus, so it’s been a busy year," Mr. Pelosi says. "Four states have defeated the bills, so there are 11 states left to work through this year. The biggest are Florida, Texas, and Nevada.”

At least 20 states allow some form of campus carry. However, only nine states have made it a right defined in state law, according to ArmedCampuses.org, a project of The Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus and The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. Currently, schools in Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah, Texas, and Wisconsin are required in some way to allow the carrying of firearms on their premises.

Many of the Republican presidential candidates have supported moves to carry guns on campus. But in Texas, many faculty oppose the new law. 

In Texas, home to a massive public university system with more than 200,000 students, many faculty are staunchly opposed to a law set to go into effect this summer, which will let students bring their weapons not just on campus, but into class.

The concealed carry law, which would apply to public schools, is set to go into effect on August 1, 2016, the 50th anniversary of University of Texas student Charles Whitman’s 1966 massacre, when he climbed the UT-Austin clock tower and killed 16 people – the worst US college shooting until 2007.

Supporters say that more guns, not fewer, are exactly what it takes to stop such deadly attacks.

But more than 300 faculty disagree, and have signed a petition stating they will not permit armed students into their class.

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