Tags: Gun Rights | Florida | concealed carry | college campuses

In Florida, Intense Battle Over Concealed Carry on Campuses

By    |   Monday, 09 Mar 2015 03:54 PM

Declaring that "bullets and backpacks don't mix," close to 30 people demonstrated at the Florida Historic Capitol in Tallahassee Monday against proposals to allow concealed weapons at college campuses, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Florida Legislature committees have been holding hearings on legislation to require public universities to allow the concealed carry of handguns. One such bill to allow concealed carry is H.B. 4005, introduced by Rep. Greg Steube, a Sarasota Republican, and another is S.B. 176, proposed by Sen. Greg Evers, a Crestview Republican.

Opponents of the legislation have argued that allowing concealed carry would result in more guns, which would lead to increased violence on Florida college campuses.

Supporters counter that legalizing concealed carry would put guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens who could respond in the event of a school shooting.

The ban on firearms on campuses did not prevent Myron May from shooting and wounding three students at the Florida State University (FSU) library on Nov. 20, 2014. May was himself shot and killed by police after he refused an order to drop his weapon and opened fire on them, according to CNN.

Erek Culbreath, president of Students for Concealed Carry at Florida State, said the ban did prevent two people with firearms knowledge and experience – one an Army combat veteran enrolled at FSU – from taking action, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

Culbreath said the veteran, who had just returned from a tour in Afghanistan five months before, would have had a clear shot at May but couldn't act because he was barred from carrying his firearm.

One of the three students shot and injured in the FSU library was Nathan Scott, a member of Students for Concealed Carry FSU.

Gun-free zone policies "have done nothing to curb violence, both in our state and nationwide." Since criminals do not abide by these laws, "they only serve to prevent victims from having the ability to defend themselves and their peers."

Florida State University Police Chief David Perry, however, opposes conceal carry legislation, arguing that guns on campus would make the situation more dangerous.

"That would have exacerbated and made our situation even worse," he said last month.

"To have two or three or more people with weapons yelling commands, people firing rounds that can't be accounted for, that's just not a good mix," he said, according to CBS News.

Perry said that on campus "there's also a culture of drugs, there's also a culture of underage drinking, there's also a culture of sometimes poor decision-making," he said.

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Declaring that "bullets and backpacks don't mix," close to 30 people demonstrated at the Florida Historic Capitol in Tallahassee Monday against proposals to allow concealed weapons at college campuses, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Florida, concealed carry, college campuses
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2015-54-09
Monday, 09 Mar 2015 03:54 PM
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