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Florida Legislature shoots down campus open-carry gun bill

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Posted: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 11:45 pm | Updated: 11:56 pm, Wed Mar 16, 2011.

The Florida Legislature is no longer considering a measure March 9 that would have allowed students to openly carry guns on campus.

Following a speech by Robert Cowie, the father of a girl who was accidentally shot Jan. 9 at an off-campus FSU fraternity house, the controversial measure was pulled from the bill.

“I’m very excited,” Student Body President-elect Ben Meyers said. “I can’t help but think that Student Government, campus police departments and administrations from across the state had an impact.”

The bill itself now exists as a measure to introduce open carry to the state and advanced past the Senate Criminal Justice Committee on Monday by a 3-2 vote.

The campus-carry measure has been opposed by virtually all governing bodies at UF. President Bernie Machen, Police Chief Linda Stump, the Student Senate and the Faculty Senate have publicly opposed or passed resolutions against the bill.

“College campuses, as far as crime goes, are very safe places to live and study,” Stump said. “[Faculty and students] were fearful that guns on campus might change the academic climate, where now they feel free to partake in civil discourse to its fullest extent and not be fearful of somebody having a gun.”

UF spokeswoman Janine Sikes indicated it may be too soon to begin making funeral arrangements for the open-carry clause, but it’s not stopping people like Progress Party leader Dave Schneider from celebrating.

“It’s a victory in that we were able to get students from different political orientations to come out and champion safety on campus,” Schneider said.

Welcome to the discussion.

7 comments:

  • Rich7553 posted at 11:32 pm on Sat, Mar 19, 2011.

    Rich7553 Posts: 11

    I wrote the Fort Myers Examiner article. Thanks Gator4Freedom for quoting it. Unfortunately, facts are facts. An average of over 300 violent crimes occur annually on Florida's campuses. For all those who are celebrating the removal of campus carry from the bill, I sincerely hope that you neither are personally acquainted with nor tragically become one of the next 300 victims this coming year.

     
  • Gator4Freedom posted at 1:43 pm on Thu, Mar 17, 2011.

    Gator4Freedom Posts: 13

    Bob, it did also call for open carry. The open carry portion of the bill did pass and will go on to the Senate and then the House. However, these people don't seem to care as long as it's not allowed on the physical college campus. They seem to somehow find some distinction between campus and the rest of Alachua county and the state as far as where rights should be recognized.

     
  • bobthegunslinger posted at 10:54 am on Thu, Mar 17, 2011.

    bobthegunslinger Posts: 5

    the bill never called for "open carry"as wrongly stated in this article!it called for "concealed carry"by those 21 and older whom completed a ccw class and background check to carry a concealed pistol !i can`t believe how a smart college student could let these people distort the facts to you without researching the facts yourself and then swallowing it down faster than a can of beer!

     
  • Gopblin posted at 10:03 am on Thu, Mar 17, 2011.

    Gopblin Posts: 110

    Damn.

     
  • EvenKeeled posted at 9:31 am on Thu, Mar 17, 2011.

    EvenKeeled Posts: 4

    I'm pretty disappointed. Every factual piece of information indicates that allowing licensed individuals from carrying guns on campus does not increase violent crime. When a government rules by emotion instead of logic and fact, everyone suffers.

    Way to call him out Gator4Freedom. I agree with you 100%. It was nothing but pure politics on his part.

     
  • Sagacious posted at 8:39 am on Thu, Mar 17, 2011.

    Sagacious Posts: 13

    I'm in favor of concealed carry, but not open carry. Open carry would be disruptive to the atmosphere of the college campus. Concealed carry would provide sufficient facilitation of self-defense.

     
  • Gator4Freedom posted at 3:53 am on Thu, Mar 17, 2011.

    Gator4Freedom Posts: 13

    It has since been reported in the Ft. Myers Examiner:

    “Since the fall semester of 2006, Utah state law has allowed licensed individuals to carry concealed handguns on the campuses of Utah's nine degree-offering public colleges (20 campuses) and one public technical college (10 campuses).

    Concealed carry has been allowed on the two campuses of Colorado State University (Fort Collins and Pueblo) since 2003 and at Blue Ridge Community College (Weyers Cave, VA) since 1995.

    After allowing concealed carry on campus for a combined total of 124 semesters (as of June 2010), an average of over five years per school, none of these twelve schools has seen a single resulting incident of gun violence (including threats and suicides), a single gun accident, or a single gun theft.”

    Sorry Ben Meyers, you didn't have much to do with the provision being removed, although you are a huge hypocrite for both opposing this bill and then saying you would carry on campus if it passed (assuming you passed the criteria for being licensed).

    It was removed because:

    "On February 22, 2011, the father of Ashley Cowie, the FSU student who was killed in an off-campus incident, presented an impassioned plea against the campus carry element of SB 234. Ashley was killed by a student who was too young to get a concealed weapons/firearms license (CWFL), allegedly was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, negligently mishandled a rifle too large to carry concealed for self-defense purposes, at an off-campus frat house at which weapons were prohibited.

    The campus carry initiative has nothing in common with this tragic event, and the current ban on lawfully carried firearms did not prevent it. In fact, there are 71 campuses in the U.S. where concealed carry is permitted, some of which have been doing so since 1995, and not a single gun-related event has occurred on any of those campuses."

    Funny how this article doesn't cover any of this, focusing instead on the anti-freedom crowd smugly congratulating themselves. It's a shame that the law will remain in favor of criminals for the time being, as we all know they ignore "gun-free" legislation anyway. I look forward to open carry passing in the state and all of these people scratching their heads in wonder when it results in exactly zero negative events.

     

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