A rape survivor is using her story to convince others that campus carry is a must on all college campuses.
Three years ago, Shayna Lopez-Rivas was sexually assaulted on Florida State University’s campus. Her college has a blue light system, and even allows students to carry pepper spray (which is still prohibited on many campuses), but it wasn’t enough for Lopez-Rivas to stop the nightmare from unfolding.
“He had a knife. I had pepper spray,” Lopez-Rivas recounted to News4Jax. “And even though I ran for blue lights that are scattered all around, [he was] faster, stronger, and I did not win.”
Lopez-Rivas believes if she had a gun on her, she would have had a better chance at fighting of her attacker.
“The way that I carry it now, I would have been able to prevent what happened to me, yeah,” Lopez-Rivas said.
Florida is one of 20 states that still has a blanket ban on concealed carry weapons on its college campuses – and not for lack of trying.
Over the past few years, legislators have introduced a number of bills to take universities off the gun-free zone list, but none have survived. Most recently, HB 6005, which died in the Criminal Justice Subcommittee in early May, would have removed the provision prohibiting concealed carry licensees from openly carrying handgun or carrying concealed weapon or firearm into college or university facilities.
In 2013, a court order required state universities to permit students to keep firearms in their cars while parked on campus, as long as they are in a locked compartment. However, as we can see in Lopez-Rivas’ case, a gun in your car isn’t going to do much good.
According to News4Jax, Florida lawmakers have vowed to give campus carry another go in the next session. We can only hope the bill makes it to the governor’s desk this time.