Judiciary Committee vote moves bill to House Floor for final consideration

HB 4001 would force loaded, concealed guns onto state college and university campuses 


November 20, 2015 (Tallahassee, FL): In response to Thursday morning’s House Judiciary Committee vote on HB 4001 sponsored by Rep. Greg Steube (R) Sarasota, and SB 68, sponsored by Sen. Greg Evers (R) Baker, the Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus issued the following statement.

“Today’s hearing and vote in the House Judiciary Committee on HB 4001 (legislation that would force loaded, concealed guns onto Florida’s state college and university campuses) played out as we anticipated: mostly on party lines and with the vast majority of members voting in favor of the bill.  The Judiciary Committee’s hearing was the last stop after two previous House hearings and is now eligible for a vote on the House floor.

It is interesting to note that once again, despite broad opposition from a host of organizations and individuals representing varied constituencies ranging from the State University System of Florida, the Association of Florida Colleges, United Faculty of Florida, campus law enforcement, student groups, the FSU Chapter of the NAACP, and the League of Women Voters of Florida (among others), most members of the Judiciary Committee chose to ignore what these groups said and have been saying for some time now, which is, ‘we do not want or need concealed handguns on campus’.

The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus reiterates its strong opposition to this legislation, which would change current law and allow loaded, concealed handguns to be carried anywhere on Florida’s public university campuses including classrooms, dormitories, libraries, cafeterias, administrative offices and student health centers. Currently, Florida law gives the Board of Governors the authority to place reasonable restrictions on access to firearms within college-owned or controlled buildings and grounds (excluding parking lots).

In closing, this legislation does nothing to promote safe campuses and, if signed into law, will also present a significant financial burden to all schools at an estimated cost of over $74 million dollars.  Florida’s higher education officials are the ones most qualified to determine the safety requirements for their campus, including restricting guns only to certified law enforcement officers. We call on the full House to vote no on HB 4001 when it comes up for a vote.”

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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 loaded, concealed 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 and on Twitter at@KeepGunsoffCamp

Contact: Kathryn Grant, Southern Regional Director, [email protected]

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