Campaign hopeful that 1st District Court of Appeals will uphold lower court’s decision
allowing colleges and universities to prohibit firearms in all campus housing

July 14, 2015

Tallahassee, FL: Earlier today the 1st District Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the case (Florida Carry, Inc. vs. University of Florida, Case # 1D14-4614) filed by Florida Carry, which puts forth the proposition that people have a legal right to possess firearms in university housing. An Alachua County circuit judge last year sided with the University of Florida in rejecting claims brought by the gun rights group.

The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus issued the following statement in connection with Florida Carry’s lawsuit:

As many Floridians know, for the last few years, the Florida gun lobby has actively sought to force colleges and universities to allow the carrying of loaded, concealed firearms on campus via a two-pronged attack through the legislature and the courts.  Earlier this year, after much public opposition, legislation to force concealed firearms on campuses across the state failed to come to the House or Senate floor for a vote, despite moving rapidly through committee hearings. The second line of attack included the courts, where Florida Carry saw initial success in forcing colleges to allow concealed weapons permit holders to store their guns in locked cars in campus parking lots (Florida Carry vs. University of North Florida). Florida Carry then doubled-down by suing the University of Florida claiming that the state and federal constitution, along with Florida state law equates university housing with one’s own home.  The Alachua County circuit court found for the University and earlier today the 1st District Court of Appeals heard Florida Carry’s appeal.

We believe that the Board of Governors of the State University System of Florida has the legal authority, among other things, to regulate campus safety, which includes prohibiting all firearms on campus.  In addition, we do not believe that the Supreme Court’s decision in Heller, though stating that the 2nd Amendment protects the possession of firearms for self-defense within the traditional home, extends to the dorm room (or university housing). In fact, the Supreme Court specifically stated its decision should not call into constitutional question longstanding bans on firearms in schools – bans that have always extended to dorms.

For these reasons, along with preserving public safety and decreasing risk to students, faculty, staff and visitors, we trust that the Court will uphold the Circuit Court’s decision and not allow for firearms to be carried and/or stored in university housing.

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The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus was founded in 2008 to urge colleges and universities to band together to oppose the gun lobby’s agenda to push guns onto college campuses. To date, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and more than 420 colleges and universities in 42 states have joined the Campaign. Follow us on Facebook or on Twitter at@KeepGunsoffCamp

Contact: Kathryn Grant, Florida/Georgia State Director, [email protected]

Andy Pelosi, Executive Director (914-629-6726), [email protected]