Ahead of President Barack Obama’s town hall meeting on gun control Thursday night at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, police warned students that armed protesters might descend on campus, the Hill reported. Aside from law enforcement, no one is permitted to bring weapons into university buildings, including gun owners with legal permits.
“Due to the sensitive nature of the topic, we will likely see protesters on campus — some of whom may be carrying weapons,” the university’s police chief Thomas Longo said in the email obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
In the email, Longo reminded students that it is lawful to carry firearms in Virginia, including public outdoor spaces on campus, but acknowledged that the university policy prohibits George Mason students, faculty and staff from carrying weapons anywhere on campus. Protesters before the meeting were anticipated and the College Republican Federation of Virginia reportedly planned to gather before the event for a “peaceful protest to support our Constitutional rights.”
— The Hill (@thehill) January 7, 2016
"This is to tell President Obama to stop playing partisan politics and to actually work together," said Devon Flynn, chairman of the College Republicans at George Mason, the United Press International reported. "He says one thing and does the complete opposite."
Obama is scheduled to hold the invitation-only, town hall meeting just days after announcing a series of controversial, executive actions aimed at reducing gun violence. Audience members are expected to include people who both support and oppose the gun legislation.
"The goal of the town hall meeting is for the president to engage with both people who support his position on gun safety, but also to have a conversation with those who don't agree with some of the President's positions on these issues," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Wednesday of the event at George Mason University, CNN reported.
CNN is scheduled to air the hour-long event Thursday night at 8 p.m. EST.