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Florida Hears Appeal For Right To Bear Arms In UF Dorms

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Florida Carry Inc. has filed an appeal to the University of Florida’s decision to not allow UF students to have firearms in their dormitory rooms.  The 1st District Court is scheduled to hear the case next Tuesday after an Alachua County circuit judge ruled in favor of the University of Florida’s rejection.

via Flagler Live

“The U.S. Supreme Court has been more than clear that laws which prohibit the best means to exercise the right of self-defense in the home, are prohibited under the Constitution of the United States,” Florid Carry attorneys Eric Friday and Lesley McKinney wrote in a brief filed in January. “Florida’s Constitution cannot be interpreted to mean any less.”

One thing that recent history is proven is there is no such thing as a “gun free zone” – despite what university administrators have claimed.  And this upcoming appeals case comes right on the heels of a previous victory by Florida Carry, Inc. which argued that the university should allow students to keep firearms in their vehicles.

University of Florida Fighting Tooth And Nail

U of F attorney Barry Richard argues that Florida’s prior decisions to uphold restrictions of firearms on the campuses of schools and institutes of higher learning contribute to the “safety and peace of mind” of Florida citizens.

How does disallowing a student’s legal right to keep and bear arms improve safety and peace of mind?

It seems it’s not just Florida universities seeking to impinge the constitutional right to bear arms but also administrators in Texas.  You may recall Texas recently signed into law a measure allowing students to carry a concealed firearm onto campus so long as the university’s administration had not ruled that area a “gun free zone”.

As the limits to this were not explicitly outlined in the law, Texas university administrators are pushing back.  LA Times covered their crusade to limit the measures laid out in the new law.

The big anecdotal precedent being called forth is that of Charles Whitman, a former student of University of Texas at Austin.  In 1966, he climbed to the 28th floor of the university tower with his rifle and opened fire on students and faculty – killing 16 and wounding 32.

This sort of anecdotal evidence, however, applies more to the study of criminals and the criminally deranged than it does with concealed carriers.

via LA Times

“Concealed handgun license holders are the safest, most responsible gun owners in Texas,” Sen. Donna Campbell, a Republican from central Texas, said in a statement. “It is irresponsible on our part to disarm the good guys where violent offenders disregard the law.”

Back at the pre-trial briefs in Florida, Barry Richard asserts differently.

“The Florida Legislature has struck a balance between preserving the right to bear arms for self-defense and protecting the safety and peace of mind of Florida citizens,” the university’s attorney, Barry Richard, wrote in the March brief. “In service of the latter interest, Florida law has long designated certain sensitive areas, including school and university campuses, as largely gun-free zones.”

So, who’s on the right side of history on this one?  Many state-funded and private university systems seem hesitant if not outright combative to new laws that allow students and faculty to keep their firearms on them when they enter campus.  While college students in Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin can carry concealed guns on campus property – other states’ university systems appear to look on warily.

If higher education produces some of the best minds for our country’s future, why would they be denied the same rights allowed anyone else their age – by law?  What rationale is that?

Tell us your thoughts on whether students should be allowed to carry concealed firearms in the comments section below!

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