The idea of students sporting holsters does not appeal to Ben Meyers.

Nor does it appeal to any Student Body president or campus police chief in Florida, said Meyers, the Student Body president-elect.

“It would create a culture of fear on campus,” he said, explaining his reasons for opposing the bill — despite being a staunch supporter of gun rights.  

That opposition isn’t stopping the Florida Legislature from exploring the option of removing restrictions that currently prevent students from arming themselves before they enter a classroom.

The bill not only would allow students with concealed carry permits to have their guns on campus, but also would allow anyone with such a permit to carry his or her weapon openly throughout the state. Currently, weapons are not allowed on Florida’s college campuses, and people must conceal the weapons they carry.

It also would prevent universities from making their own rules regulating firearms on campus, Meyers said.

Eight other states — Arizona, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Tennessee and Texas — are considering bills that would allow open carry on college campuses.

Blue Ridge Community College in Virginia and Colorado State University are two examples of schools that allow students to carry guns.

Unlike universities in Utah, which are required to allow students to carry firearms on campus, Blue Ridge and Colorado State both were given the option to do so by their respective state governments.

Neither university has had an incident involving firearms since the institutions allowed them on campus in 2003, according to representatives from both universities.

Interest in Colorado State’s policy has risen since the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007, said Colorado State spokesman Brad Bohlander. At the time, he said, not many  people knew having guns on campus was an option.

“It’s not something we go out and promote,” Bohlander said. “It’s just something where we’ve chosen to follow the state law.”

Though CSU allows students to carry a gun on campus, it doesn’t necessarily make it a safer place, Bohlander said. Arguments can be made for both sides of the issue.

“People are very divided,” he said. “One side will tell you that guns make campus safer, and the other will tell you less safe. From my perspective, there hasn’t been clear research that shows one way or the other.”

UF representatives declined to comment on the prospects of the impending legislation on the issue.

R. Bowen Loftin, president of Texas A&M University, issued a statement regarding the possibility of open carry coming to Texas campuses.

“As president of one of the largest universities in the state and nation,” the statement reads, “this is my fear: How will our campus police easily and safely recognize the ‘good guys’ from the ‘bad guys?’ In the heat of a gun battle, how does a police officer quickly discern that one person is actually a law-abiding citizen trying to help and someone else is a ‘bad guy’ trying to hurt?”


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I'll fill in some details.

The bill, Florida SB-234 (proposed by Evers) and its companion house bill, H-517, provide that those who have a concealed weapon or firearms license may carry firearms on college campuses.

To obtain such a license, you must be 21 years of age. You must undergo a firearms safety training course. You must pass a background check. You must have your fingerprints on file.

Approximately 2% of your fellow citizens are already carrying concealed everywhere except campus. This means when you go to Wal-Mart and there are 100 people there, two of them are armed. This is about the same proportion who would carry on campus, most likely.

Why don't you ever notice them? Because concealed carry permit holders are overwhelmingly law abiding, and because having access to a firearm does not make one a bloodthirsty killer any more than having access to a hammer, a vehicle, or a chainsaw does.

Why do we need firearms on campus?

In 2007, there were two forcible sex offenses, two robberies, and three aggravated assaults on campus. Within the last year, there has been a knife point robbery on campus and a gun point robbery at Corry village. It is clear that innocent people are being victimized on campus, and that the perpetrators of these crimes are perfectly happy to bring weapons on campus with them to use for the purpose of threatening the lives of innocent citizens.

Stop and ask yourself: Confronted in the moment with violent criminal aggression, what recourse do you have?

Many say that the answer is an increased law enforcement presence. Law enforcement officers are not clairvoyant, and they cannot be everywhere. The best possible police response time is around two minutes. Thought exercise: Mime stabbing yourself for two minutes, and see how many times you can repeat the motion before the cops show up, assuming you're able to call police immediately when the assault commences. This is why, in the Warren vs DC court decision, precedent was established for the notion that law enforcement bears no obligation to protect any individual - you bear the legal, moral, and practical burden of your own self defense. Not the cops, certainly not bystanders, and not the University administration. You.

Talking about active shooters distracts from the debate. While active shooter events are always a tragic occurrence, and while they can be prevented by those carrying concealed (see the Trolley Square Mall Shooting, the Pearl MS high school shooting, and the Appalachian school of law shooting) statistically speaking they are not the primary purpose for carrying concealed. Personal protection from violent crime is.

Criminals will always be able to bring weapons onto campus. For those already willing to threaten or take life, proscriptions against bringing a firearm on campus are petty and do not even constitute an inconvenience. The only question before us is whether we are going to permit law abiding citizens access to a critical safety tool.

There are between 700,000 and 2.5 million defensive gun uses per annum, depending on the source you investigate. Note too that these numbers are difficult to obtain and are likely underestimates - because of fears of baseless prosecution, armed citizens tend to under-report legitimate defensive firearms uses.

The campus will not turn into the "wild west" - the rest of Gainesville hasn't in the years since Florida became a shall issue state in 1987.

Drunk 18 year old kids are not going to be standing in their lawns shooting into the air - or if they are, it's something they were going to do anyhow.

Campus is not going to become flooded with Dirty Harry wannabes with itchy trigger fingers, looking for any excuse to "go off" and blaze away at a moment's notice.

What's going to happen when this legislation is passed is that law abiding, (in this case, college educated) citizens 21 years of age or older who have taken safety training and passed a background check are going to have access to what should be a constitutionally protected (Heller vs DC, McDonald vs City of Chicago) means of self-defense.

Please contact your representatives and support SB-234 or H-517.

Your fear is not sufficient justification to infringe upon my freedoms.


Tip of the hat to Liti-gator, by the way, for pointing out the defensive gun use statistics in an excellent post in a previous thread.


the clear evidence of not having trouble with concealed carry;not open carry as it may be read from this article, is already there!open carry would be off campus for ccw holder`s only!people will have to get used to that as they have in most states in the country!these are not people looking to cause trouble,only to protect themselves and other`s if possible!after all these horrible events that have taken place in mainly gun-free zones;even the f.b.i.,and most s.w.a.t. teams have realized that timing is of the essence!waiting for backup loses lives!also it has be clearly shown that once a bad guy is confronted by an armed person,police or private citizen the quickly cower down or commit suicide as they originally intended stopping the violence immediately!these are good bills for law respecting ccw holder`s!read the bills for yourself before judging,as it may well save your life one day!


Very well put Abaddon, and kudos to the Alligator for having a pretty balanced article on the issue.


Bob, I support concealed carry on campus, but I really think that the oft-mentioned "crazed mass-shooter scenarios" are a distraction in this debate. They're exceedingly rare.

What's far more relevant, in my opinion, are situations where individuals are targeted for robbery or sexual battery. Those things happen on the UF campus year after year, typically at night and typically to people traveling alone on foot.

I'm not saying that campus CCW will solve the problem entirely, but it would give some people age 21 and up -- grad students, faculty, staffers, football fans, parents in town for the weekend, family members visiting patients at Shands, etc. -- an option they might sorely want. And it might make violent criminals a little more hesitant to stalk victims on UF property.


Gun control legislation is one of few areas that police organizations, communists and criminals all agree. You see, less guns in law-abiding people's hands gives criminals a warm and fuzzy feeling that they are the only ones with guns, communists want a disarmed populace so that they are more easily controlled, and the police want to justify higher budgets and more cops as a result of the crime spike created by depriving citizens of the right to self-defense.


What we do know is that 71 universities have permitted firearms carry on their campuses for more than a decade with ZERO incidents.

We know that armed individuals stopped further carnage at a Pearl, Mississippi high school, and at Appalachia School of law. We know that with a "thou shalt not defend thyself" policy at Virginia Tech, a lone gunman can kill 30 people in 9 minutes and that police response will not be fast enough to make a difference - even if the police are already on campus.

I don't know why this is even an issue, except that some people cannot think logically, wet their panties at the sight of a gun or have agendas to push which are unrelated to public safety.

How many Virginia Techs (32 dead under the same rules of engagement that Florida has now) must we have to convince people that hiding, running, jumping out of windows, cowering behind desks and locked doors, praying, crying, pleading with the killer are all less effective than shooting back?

And if you're one of the imbeciles who thinks people should not be able to arm themselves for self-defense on campus, what is YOUR solution? Because there WILL be another Cho - or worse - a trained shooter with a rifle, facing no resistance easily killing 5 times as many people as Cho (yes, 160) Next time you go into a large lecture room, think about where a killer might walk through a door into a position where he could cover all the exits. Imagine him shooting one person, then another.

As panic overcomes the defenseless sheep, they run for the doors - but this killer is shooting bullets that travel more than twice as fast as the one's Cho used at Virginia Tech. He's not taking 4 seconds per shot, he's taking 2. He's not missing 72% of his targets, he's hitting 80%. 36% of those shot survive. This trained killer is firing at a measured rate of 1 shot every two seconds. hitting 80% of his targets and killing 80% of those hit with a single shot. After the first 60 seconds, 19 people lie dying on the floor. Five more are wounded. Two dozen have been severely injured in the crush to escape. Nine are trampled so badly, they will die from their injuries.

By the end of the second minute, a few people have rushed the gunman. He has shot them down in their tracks. With 48 bullet-riddled bodies piled up in the doorways, and dozens more caught in the crush, there is no longer any way out.

The gunman continues to shoot in a slow, measured manner. Tick, Tick, BANG. Front sight, acquire target, squeeze the trigger - BANG!

The smell of fear, blood, urine and feces now fills the air. The third minute has passed. Another 30 people have been shot. Another 24 killed. The killer is in no rush. He knows that even if a 911 call went in as he fired his first bullet, it will be 10 minutes before the cops are on the scene, and probably at least 20 minutes before any of the cops screws up the courage to enter. After all, they have no duty to protect anyone - or to enter a dangerous situation.

Minute four has passed, there are now large piles of bodies at every entrance. 96 people have been shot to death. 50 have been trampled to death. Another 50 are severely wounded by gunfire or panicked classmates. Most of those who remain uninjured are hiding on the floor between the seats. The killer now begins to walk down the aisle on the right side of the room, scanning the length of the row, shooting anyone lying between the seats. Some people try to run when discovered, but they don't get far. There's nowhere to go. The shots continue with the regularity of a metronome. Five minutes. The killer is no longer shooting a fresh target with each shot. He's beginning to finish off the wounded. More than one student finds out that playing dead won't save them. The death toll is now over 180, but another 34 are dying, and nothing can be done for them.

It's time for the killer to leave. He heads for the door, clambering over the dead bodies, their lifeless eyes staring into space. One girl in the pile is still breathing. Frothy blood is pouring from her lips. A bullet has pierced her lungs. She doesn't have long to live. The killer steps on her face as he makes his way out of the room.

In five more minutes, the police will begin to arrive, but it will take them another 30 minutes to determine that the shooter has gone. He's on his way to the nearest elementary school where he will repeat the carnage on smaller targets. The scenario will be a little different. Having received word of the shooting at the university, the children will be clustered in little groups in rooms behind locked doors. Neat little groups of small children gathered so that he can kill them one room at a time as he spends the next 10 minutes dispensing death.

The girl with the punctured lung, the one with the boot-print on her face, is drawing her last breaths. The cops are entering the room, some vomiting on seeing the blood, and smelling the stench. They tally the body count: 214 dead. Another 54 badly injured.

But at least no students had guns. That's the important thing.


What I know is that Sen. Hairidopolos needs to be voted out next election!

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