Valley Metro reverses gun policy


ROANOKE (WSLS10) - Nearly eight thousand people board Valley Metro buses each day in Roanoke.

And after one of them pulled a gun on another passenger during an argument a little over a week ago, the drivers are concerned about safety.

Carl Palmer, General Manager at Valley Metro is working to ease those concerns.

"It is scary, a bit daunting," Palmer said.

Carl Palmer is the general manager at Valley Metro.

After the incident happened they tried to put a policy in place to prevent open carry of guns on the bus. But that was disputed by the Virginia Citizens Defense League.

President of the VCDL Phillip Van Cleave says criminals wouldn't obey those rules anyway.

"What they are doing is blocking good people, law abiding people from being able to protect themselves," Van Cleave said.

After Palmer had discussions with Roanoke City's Attorney, the policy was reversed.

Guns are once again allowed on the bus.

With the policy back in place, if a bus driver sees a passenger coming on to the bus, obviously carrying a gun, the passenger cannot be refused service. Legally the driver can't even question if they have a permit.

"There are so concerns, and we want to address those concerns Monday morning," Palmer said.

Palmer says his drivers will receive additional safety training from police and will continue to have protective policies in place.

He insists that safety is the number one priority for all passengers and drivers.

The state law clearly protects the rights of legal gun owners right to conceal and carry.

"Unless they brandish it, we cannot prevent them from boarding the bus," Palmer said.

Planes and trains have more regulations because of federal policies...laws that don't apply on the state level.

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