Court: Univ. of Florida Can Ban Guns on Campus

The lawsuit was brought by a group called Florida Carry Inc.

An appeals court recently found that the University of Florida is allowed to ban guns on its campus.

The Oct. 30 ruling upholds a previous court’s decision after the group Florida Carry Inc. filed an appeal, according to Gainesville.com.

In the initial court case, which took place in 2014, Florida Carry argued that the gun ban on the UF campus violated students’ constitutional rights. The lower court disagreed with that claim, although it acknowledged that the state could create a law to allow guns on college campuses.

There are currently two bills set for the 2016 Florida legislature that would allow people with concealed carry permits to bring guns on campus. The State University Systems’ Board of Governors and university officials have spoken out against the proposals.

The appeals judge acknowledged in his decision that the 2016 bills could change things. “While the Legislature may choose to one day amend the current law to permit firearms in university housing, our interpretation of the pertinent statutes leads us to the conclusion that it has not yet done so,” 1st DCA Judge Joseph Lewis said.

Florida Carry had specifically argued that guns should be allowed in college dormitories because the dorms constitute the students’ homes, but Lewis argued current laws “made no such [weapons] exception for university housing.”

Previously the University of North Florida was found to have violated students’ constitutional rights by refusing to allow them to store guns in their vehicles on campus. Florida Carry had hoped that would set the precedent for concealed weapons to be carried on all parts of campus.

About the Author

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Zach Winn is a journalist living in the Boston area. He was previously a reporter for Wicked Local and graduated from Keene State College in 2014, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in journalism and minoring in political science.

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