Just a few years ago, it seemed Florida was starting to swing away from being a pro-gun state. In the wake of Parkland, the state legislature passed a couple of anti-gun bills and some wondered if the state was going down the anti-gun rabbit hole.
Luckily, those seemed to be knee-jerk reactions that the voters spoke out against, thus thwarting any attempt at flipping the state.
However, there’s still work to be done. Now, a bill has been introduced yet again to try to pass campus carry within the state.
Rep. Anthony Sabatini filed a bill Monday that would allow people with a concealed firearm license to carry a weapon onto Florida colleges and universities.
The measure, HB 6001, seeks to delete a provision that restricts permit holders from carrying a firearm on campus grounds. Florida’s current statute limits registered students and faculty to carrying stun guns and non-lethal electric weapons on campus.
“The current prohibition of the concealed carry of a firearm makes campuses LESS safe and violates the spirit of the Second Amendment,” the Howey-in-the-Hills Republican tweeted.
Campus carry proposals have drawn stiff opposition from activists and university leaders nationwide. On the other hand, gun rights activists and interest groups such as the NRA have galvanized sizable support around the issue.
Campus carry proponents argue that students should maintain the right to self-defense while on campus. Some also contend that licensed weapon holders could play a role in stopping a mass shooting.
This is Sabatini’s third try, yet neither of his previous attempts even got a hearing. It’s time for Florida to change that.
Now, I get the opposition to campus carry. I know what they’re saying and where they’re coming from. They’re wrong, but I get their concerns.
However, campus carry is the law in a number of states. Armed citizens attend classes and school functions each and every day and guess what’s happened?
That’s right. For all the hysteria and scare pieces in the media, there have been no incidents related to someone with a license on any campus where it’s legal for them to carry. None.
Remember that gun rights are rights. That means if you’re going to take them away, you need to present a compelling reason to do so. I find no reason compelling, of course, but some people do.
So what if there’s no compelling reason? What if the mountains of experience show that there are zero issues with allowing people with concealed carry permits to carry on a school campus? That very fact undermines all the arguments, all the horror stories spun by activists and media hacks trying to sell you on fictitious dangers.
Campus carry doesn’t result in violence on our campuses. There’s no blood filling the floor of our classrooms. There’s no threat to our professors or fellow students posed by law-abiding citizens lawfully carrying firearms. There never has been.
Those that represent a threat have never been deterred by laws banning guns on campuses. It’s time we stop treating law-abiding citizens as an existential threat because they take their personal safety and the safety of all those around them seriously.