Second Amendment supporters have scored a victory in the Sunshine State, notwithstanding opposition from Democrats and anti-gun academics on the university system’s Board of Governors.
On Monday, the Florida Senate’s Committee on Higher Education approved a proposal to authorize concealed carry on the state’s college campuses. The bill still faces stops in the Judiciary and Rules committees.
The 6-3 vote came after a fierce and passionate debate.
Student Rebecca Hargrove and Florida NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer supported the legislation and agreed with the decision of the panel, according to the Miami Herald.
“We aren’t wards of the university,” said Hargrove, a member of Students for Concealed Carry at Florida State. “We are citizens of the United States.
“The plain truth is, campuses are not safe,” Hammer added. “They are gun-free zones where murders and rapists may commit their crimes without fear of being harmed by their victims.”
Don Gaetz, the Republican former president of the Senate, agreed with the passing of the bill and said he saw no evidence the legislation would lead to an increase in crime or suicide.
“In the absence of evidence, one is left with the Constitution of the United States,” Gaetz said.
Not everyone was happy with the outcome.
“Our police department, back in November, [had] an incredible response and ensured the safety of our students,” Harrison DuBosar, director of the Florida State University Office of Governmental Affairs said, referring to an FSU library shooting that left three injured and the gunman shot dead by police.
“That could have ended entirely different if many students on campus were carrying their guns.”
Arthenia Joyner, the Senate’s Democratic leader, also expressed disdain at the legislation, which passed the Senate on a strictly party-line vote.
“This is not the place to have guns,” Joyner told the Herald. “The NRA rules.”
No, Senator Joyner. The Constitution rules.