12/13/2013

Florida appeals court moves to let people carry permitted concealed handguns on college campuses

A copy of the court decision is available here.  The very long article in Inside Higher Education starts this way:
A divided Florida appeals court ruled Tuesday that public colleges and universities -- except in limited circumstances -- lack the legal right to regulate gun possession on campus. 
The ruling came in a case involving a rule at the University of North Florida banning students from keeping guns in their cars. But the appeals court went beyond that rule (which it rejected) to speak more generally to the right of public colleges and universities to limit gun possession on campus, as local news media indicated they do. Under Florida's Constitution, the appeals court found, only the Legislature can make such restrictions, so most rules imposed by public colleges and universities would be invalid. 
The university had argued that a specific exemption in Florida law giving school districts the right to regulate guns in their facilities applied to public universities as well. The appeals court rejected that argument, saying that lawmakers specify different types of educational institutions in their regulations, so that references to school districts cannot be assumed to go beyond elementary and secondary education. 
The dissent to the ruling said that that the appeals court's ruling leaves public universities "powerless" to deal with guns on campus and that the decision "defies common sense."
The ruling in the case was 12-3 (with several concurring opinions) and could be appealed to the Florida Supreme Court, but university officials have not indicated whether they will do so. . . . 
In an interview with First Coast News ABC, Lainez said, "As a single mom, I do travel from school and I feel that it's important for myself and many other students who are also concealed weapons license holders to be able to carry our guns when we go to school."
Here is an old piece that I have about gun free zones in Florida.

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