Florida universities falling into line after gun rights court victory

Under threat of a lawsuit by gun rights activists, the University of South Florida has joined Florida State and the University of North Florida in revising its policies to allow guns to be stored in cars on campus.

USF announced the decision Monday after Florida Carry attorney Eric Friday said last week the group could sue the university if it did not change its rules, according to the Tampa Tribune,

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Photo: WFTS

Friday was the lead attorney for University of North Florida student Alexandria Lainez, who won an appeals court decision in December that ruled UNF had no right to infringe on Lainez’s Second Amendment rights to keep a gun in her vehicle for personal protection during commutes to and from school.

That First District Court of Appeal ruling was the biggest victory for Florida gun owners in 20 years, Friday said at the time.

At issue was a state law passed in 2011 that beefed up a 1987 law that prohibited local governments in Florida from enacting anti-gun ordinances that went beyond state gun-control laws.

Under the 2011 law, local jurisdictions or agencies that tried to impose stricter gun control laws than those passed by the state were threatened with fines against the agency heads, removal from office for elected officials and lawsuits seeking personal damages from those officials up to $100,000.

However, school districts were exempted under the law. In the Lainez case, UNF argued that it should legally be considered a school, and could prohibit firearms on campus — even those stored securely in vehicles.

The First District Court ruled otherwise and UNF decided in late December not to appeal to the state Supreme Court. That left other universities to follow suit in changing their policies to allow guns in vehicles on campus.

USF changed its policy Friday but is still working on specific language, the Tribune reported.

Friday told the Tribune that Florida Carry still had concerns about the USF’s compliance with the ruling, but is willing to work with administrators to address all concerns.

“They appear to be operating in good faith. However, we do have some concerns regarding the language in the current policy we would like to see corrected,” Friday said.

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Joe Saunders

Joe Saunders, a 25-year newspaper veteran, is a staff writer and editor for BizPac Review who lives in Tallahassee and covers capital and Florida politics. Email Joe at jpjsaunders@gmail.com.
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About Joe Saunders

Joe Saunders, a 25-year newspaper veteran, is a staff writer and editor for BizPac Review who lives in Tallahassee and covers capital and Florida politics. Email Joe at jpjsaunders@gmail.com.

  • J. C. Smith

    I had a rifle in my dorm room for four years in college. Oddly enough, it never killed or injured anyone, but it gave me lots of weekends of enjoyment. There is no good reason to ban firearms from universities.

    • Doug

      Did you two date?

    • C_3

      And oddly enough you are probably a law abiding citizen with some common sense. Strange how gun owners like yourself and I have rarely committed crimes. Most crimes involving guns are through illegally obtained firearms, mentally unstable individuals who legally are restricted from obtaining firearms, and people who have had depression or addiction issues. Hmmm. Guns are the issue. No, it’s people. If they did NOT purchase the firearm from an FFL or private party following all laws, the only choice is illegal street vendors.

  • The duck

    Storing firearms in car in parking lots is plain dumb. Thatmakesevery car at a university a target for break in to retrieve the gun by thugs. Better to carry it with you. Then if a shooter is to show up at your school you can shooot him and save a lot of deaths from occuring. That would make schools safer with a CC than storing it in a car.Thieves get toknow about this stuff.

    • Sandra Trusso

      Like there aren’t already 300 million stolen or illegal guns in America today. I’m still waiting to hear how these liberals plan on protecting innocent law abiding citizens who will be disarmed, but preyed upon by those with the 300 million illegal/stolen guns that gov’t has no idea where they are!

      • OldmanRick

        Liberals can only talk the talk. They don’t walk the walk. A perfect example is the ineffectiveness, inefficiency, and ineptitude of the current administration.

      • C_3

        Sandra, I am a veteran. I did a VERY short time because I was discharged due to injury, but I will be the first to say I WILL NOT surrender my rights because of some power hungry idiots. I don’t care if you’re the president, the president’s mother, or the guy running the gas station. I will not give up what is rightfully and CONSTITUTIONALLY granted me. Why must I pay for the actions of a deranged imbecile? Do these lawmakers not realize that banning guns will only let the criminals keep committing crimes and the law-abiding citizens will be able to stick their hands in their pockets and play dead in hope of survival? That’s right. They do. But they don’t care. If such laws are passed, a few years later the law will be “revised” for enhancement. Look at prohibition. War on drugs. Do you seriously see any change? Nothing happened to PREVENT the issues. Only made it worse. Had it not been for the Prohibition Act, Al Capone would never have been as huge as he was. Regular citizens who were not harming anyone, just simply enjoying a drink or two, were penalized and look who had all the liquor. The people who were problematic in the first place. Laws will never stop crime. They will only redefine who is criminal and who is law abiding. Sadly, our citizens fail to notice this because they are too busy focused on whether two men or two women should marry, or what celebrity wore what outfit at the Grammy’s, and their “free” open mind that only favors themselves. Nobody is “tolerant” of anything. If I say I am against guns personally, but have no issue with you owning guns, I am a hater. If I say I believe God intended man and woman, I am a bigot. People will always talk. There is sadly no winning side. Hopefully everything works out for the few who really do try to make a difference, and our rights are untouched. If people want to engage in same sex marriage, be my guest! But don’t FORCE me to believe it is okay because you believe it. Why can’t I say God is what I believe in? I’m not forcing anything on anyone. And if they are stupid enough to argue about forcing anybody into believing anything, they are the biggest fakes themselves. Even Jesus preached and didn’t force himself on others. He shared his news, and kept it moving. If you believe follow me, if not God have mercy on you but good day to you. Simple. Live and let live. Not live and MAKE live.

        • Sandra Trusso

          Very well put, C_3! Also, thank you for your service!

          • C_3

            No, thank you and other patriots. I simply did what I’ve always wanted to do. Join the US Army. The worlds best fighting force. And it’s a bummer how my service was terminated extremely early, but perhaps it wasn’t my time. Who knows. So I heard Obama “will enforce gun control with or without congress.” I can assure you many people will rise against this.

          • Sandra Trusso

            I’m certain if tries this, that it will go to court, because I know the House won’t pass it as long as we have a Republican majority, and I’m pretty certain he can’t pass this by Executive Order, because this is a Constitutional Right!

            The question is whether the Supreme Court will rule in line with the Constitution since he has now appointed two of the Justices (Sotomayor and Kagen), and we already had liberals Ginsburg, and Breyer… and Kennedy the supposed tie breaker but who usually rules on the side of the liberal left….. So I’m afraid we’re going to have big trouble in the US if they rule it “Constitutional” for him, all by himself, to change the Constitution.

            There are two ways to interpret law 1) By “original intent” of the law at the time it was enacted (and we know that the reason the 2nd Amendment was written to begin with is to eliminate any possibility of gun control), and 2) legal precedent (where we know that the precedents set in Chicago and other cities should’ve been found illegal, but some liberal justice got away with letting it ride).

            They’ve nearly dismantled our Constitution now, and the rest of what Obama has in store for us will finish us off.

          • C_3

            I doubt he will get away with this. But I know there is a GREAT majority of Americans who don’t want anything added nor removed from our current constitution. That being said, there will be a massive revolt. Kind of like the revolutionary war.

          • Sandra Trusso

            This is frightening! The man scares the wits out of me, and because of his tyrannical approach, I have feared a possible revolt for some time. Hope this is resolved long before people resort to this.

  • Abunchofbullshit

    So why bring a gun on campus to keep in your car? The minute you run to the car to get your gun when a ‘Virginia Tech’ slaughter is going you are in violation! CC should be allowed just like in public…..these ‘restricted zones’ are only more susceptible to the nut job who knows there will be no weapons there. Who thinks of this sh@t??

    • C_3

      I understand the point you’re making, but the student was referring to self defense during commute. Clearly there is a scary consequence to not being armed ON campus in the event of a mass shooting, but I believe she was focusing on her commute as perhaps she felt threatened by the surrounding area? Just my guess. But agreed, CC should be allowed wherever a threat may be possible (anywhere under the sky).