Evers Files Senate Bill That Would Allow Guns On College Campuses

December 12, 2014

Sen Greg  Evers R-Baker proposed a measure Thursday that would allow people to carry concealed weapons on the campuses of state colleges and universities. Evers represents Escambia and Santa Rosa counties and portion of northern Okaloosa County.

The proposal filed by Evers in identical to the bill filed in the House by Rep. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota.

It comes after an incident last month at Florida State University in which a gunman shot three people at the campus library before he was killed by police. The bills will be considered during the 2015 legislative session.

Steube said he already planned to sponsor the measure before a shooting incident last month at Florida State University — but that the attack, which left three people injured and the gunman dead, helps to make his point.

“I think it (the attack) brings it closer to home for people who think these events don’t occur in Florida, or that law enforcement can prevent them from happening,” Steube said.

He said that although Tallahassee and university police officers reached Florida State’s Strozier Library less than five minutes after the shooting, more people could have died in that time.

In the wake of last month’s shooting, a group called Students for Concealed Carry at FSU called for Thrasher to reconsider his stance on allowing guns on campus. The group also said Nathan Scott, a Strozier Library staffer who was shot in the leg, was one of its members. Erek Culbreath, the group’s president, argued that Scott and another man, a U.S. Army Infantry combat veteran who “had a clear shot at the shooter,” had the training and skills necessary to end the shooting but were powerless to do so under current law.

“We have seen that the current “Gun-Free Zone” policies have done nothing to curb violence, both in our state and nationwide,” Culbreath wrote in a Nov. 24 news release. “As criminals don’t abide by these policies, they only serve to prevent victims from having the ability to defend themselves and their peers.”

National Rifle Association lobbyist Marion Hammer said Steube’s bill didn’t originate with the NRA, but she supports it on the grounds that law-abiding citizens who are licensed to carry concealed weapons shouldn’t be prevented from carrying firearms in places where they may be in danger.

“The Constitution gives you the right of self-defense,” Hammer said. “Those rights are being usurped, and people are not getting the opportunity they are guaranteed.”

But House Minority Leader Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach, said the answer to gun violence isn’t more guns. He also said he’d be more inclined to support the cost of additional security rather than allowing more guns at state universities and colleges.


5 Responses to “Evers Files Senate Bill That Would Allow Guns On College Campuses”

  1. don on December 13th, 2014 10:00 am

    I wonder how much nra contributions he receives

  2. Barry Hirsh on December 12th, 2014 4:44 pm

    mb, if dorm policy is that unless the firearm is carried immediately on the person it must be secured in a lockbox or gun safe, your concern would be addressed.

    Under those conditions, the risk would be so minimal as to be negligible. Keep in mind that only those 21 and older qualify for a carry permit, and the history is that 99% of permit holders are emotionally mature, responsible people.

    The point is that violent attacks can happen anywhere, and when unbalanced people with a perceived grievance set out to shoot as many people as possible, they invariably seek so-called “gun free zones”. like schools and college campuses.

    It is an irrefutable fact that in every single campus “grudge” shooting, by law no one was allowed to carry for self-defense, and that in venues where lawful carry is authorized, violent crime rates are lower.

    It is unwise in the extreme to allow paranoia, ideological obsession and personal bias overcome logical analysis supported by the historical record.

  3. JimInHouston on December 12th, 2014 3:53 pm

    ” I think it is a bad, bad idea and the cons definitely outweigh the pros.”

    We have many years of history of campus concealed carry in Utah and Colorado. There have been NO adverse consequences of any sort.

    So your conjecture has thus far proven to be just a fervid fantasy.

  4. mb on December 12th, 2014 11:09 am

    How will the guns be handled in residence halls when students share rooms, suites, and halls with total strangers? The guns will be accessible to more than just the legal owner. I think it is a bad, bad idea and the cons definitely outweigh the pros.

  5. Steve on December 12th, 2014 8:34 am

    I think that this is a good measure and could help to protect individuals in an incident where an unstable gunman may be brandishing a weapon. It is not about the guns as much as it is the mentally unstable people that have access to them. What really needs to be done is anyone with a firearm needs to have it locked up when not being carried. That way, if you have a depressed or unstable individual living in or near your home, they can’t get access to the weapons. If the guns were taken out of the equation all together then an unstable individual could use a knife or pretty much anything. Guns do not kill people. They may make it easier to kill someone, but so does a mass poisoning or a pipe bomb. People need to be more aware when they see a family member or friend depressed or unstable. Medication is not always the key, but identifying a potential incident is.

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