Students at George Mason University (GMU) have been notified that armed protesters may show up on campus ahead of President Obama’s town hall on gun control Thursday evening.
In an email sent to the student body, university police Chief Thomas Longo said authorities were expecting protests ahead of the event.
“Due to the sensitive nature of the topic, we will likely see protesters on campus — some of whom may be carrying weapons,” Longo said in the email obtained by The Washington Free Beacon.
He reminded students that it is lawful to openly carry firearms in outdoor spaces on campus.
“Please be advised that it is lawful to carry firearms in Virginia, and this includes at public outdoor spaces on our campus,” he said.
“University police are aware of this and will have officers present to ensure that all protesters remain law-abiding and maintain the safety and well-being of Mason’s faculty, students and staff,” he continued.
Longo added that students, faculty and staff are not permitted to carry weapons on campus, and only law enforcement can bring firearms inside of campus buildings.
College Republicans at GMU said they will hold a “peaceful protest to support our Constitutional rights” before the event, according to Townhall.com.
Obama is holding the town hall event at the Johnson Center, which will be televised by CNN, days after he announced a series of executive actions aimed at curbing gun violence.
The invitation-only event will be attended by around 100 representatives from gun rights and gun control groups who will ask the president questions.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) declined to participate in the event.