"It just blows my mind when I see the president of the United States say that the answer to circumstances like [the shooting in California] is more gun control," Falwell said.
Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.
"If some of those people in that community center had had what I’ve got in my back pocket right now," Falwell said, stopping when roaring cheers became too loud for him to speak over. "Is it illegal to pull it out? I don’t know."
More than 14,000 students live on Liberty's sprawling campus in Lynchburg. Convocation usually draws about 13,000 students, according to the school's website, and a good deal of those in attendance Friday applauded when Falwell promoted carrying guns.
But Falwell was also met with backlash after saying, "I’ve always thought, if more good people had concealed carry permits then we could end those Muslims before they walked in killing ... Let’s teach them a lesson if they ever show up here."
Other students agreed with Falwell's call to arms. "It’s reassuring to know that if there was a class with an active shooter, [students] who know how to use a gun safely could rise up,” student Zach Hayes told The News & Advance.
Falwell did not immediately respond to an email from NBC News seeking additional comment. Falwell became president of Liberty in 2007 following the death of his father, Jerry Falwell, who founded the school. Falwell Sr. was an outspoken conservative political commentator, but his son has kept a lower profile.
Falwell told The Associated Press earlier this year that publicly joining political discourse is "not my thing."
“I’m very conservative too. But I don’t think that would further the best interests of the school," he said.
Elisha Fieldstadt is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.