A proposal to allow guns on college campuses advanced through Florida’s House and Senate committees.
With approval from criminal justice committees in Florida’s House and Senate, controversial legislation (SB 68 and HB 4001) to allow guns on the state’s college campuses advanced on Sept. 16.
If passed by the full state Senate and House of Representatives, people with concealed weapons licenses would be allowed to carry on campus for self-defense.
According to The Lakeland Ledger, advocates argued that the proposal would be a positive contribution to college safety while opponents doubted the need to allow weapons into this environment.
The sponsor of the Senate bill, Criminal Justice Chairman Greg Evers, felt constitutional rights “should stop at a line in the sand.”
In opposition to the House proposal, Rep. Ray Pilon, R-Sarasota, agreed with four Democrats and voted against the measure. A member of the NRA, Rep. Pilon suggested campus law enforcement should receive additional training in lieu of allowing students to carry.
A majority of academic leaders also oppose the legislation. Some even feel the majority of students do not want the proposal to succeed, though groups such as Students for Concealed Carry have emerged to advocate for the right to carry.
On Nov. 20, 2014, 31-year-old Myron May shot three people at Florida State University before police arrived and killed the gunman. This shooting sparked the renewed interest in laws to allow properly-licensed concealed guns on college campuses in the state.