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Thrasher, at FSU, Pledges to Kill “Campus Carry” Gun Bill Again As He Did in 2011

| December 8, 2016

john thrasher guns campus

John Thrasher, formerly Flagler County’s state senator, is opposed to guns on campus. (© FlaglerLive)

In his annual “state of the university” address on Wednesday, Florida State University President John Thrasher reiterated his strong opposition to allowing guns on university and college campuses.


As a member of the Florida Senate, Thrasher helped kill a bill in 2011 that would have allowed gun owners with concealed-weapons licenses to bring their firearms to Florida’s university and state-college campuses.

“I opposed it. I killed it. I have worked against it since then,” Thrasher told the FSU faculty. “And you have my promise that I will work against it this year also.”

The so-called “campus carry” bill, which in the past has been approved by the House, has already re-emerged as an issue for the 2017 legislative session. Rep. Scott Plakon, R-Longwood, filed a new version of the bill (HB 6005) on Wednesday.

The issue also may have more support in 2017 in the Senate, where newly elected Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, a major supporter, has been named chairman of the Judiciary Committee. That committee is where the proposal, strongly backed by Second Amendment groups, died during the 2016 session.

Thrasher, a former House speaker and Senate Rules Committee chairman, said he continues to agree with other university and college leaders, campus law enforcement officials and faculty members “that having more guns on campus does not make our campus safer.”

A former chairman of the Florida Republican Party, Thrasher also said during the address Wednesday he would urge incoming President Donald Trump not to repeal President Barack Obama’s 2012 executive directive that gives undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children the right to work and study in the United States.

The so-called “Dreamers,” or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, program has allowed some 740,000 immigrants to obtain work permits or remain in school without the fear of deportation, according to federal officials.

“I think it’s the right thing to do,” Thrasher said. “And I will help these students and others find a better path to the future.”

His support for the “Dreamers” was part of a major portion of Thrasher’s speech in which he emphasized that “diversity and inclusion” at FSU remain a priority for his administration.

“These are not just buzzwords to me,” Thrasher said. “They reflect the values of Florida State University, a place that offered me an education and opportunities I never would have had otherwise.”

In the more-traditional part of his speech, Thrasher outlined a host of achievements for the university, which has 42,000 students and is classified as one of two “pre-eminent” schools in the state.

He noted FSU jumped five spots in the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings to 38th on the list of top public universities, with the school positioned to achieve its goal of being a top-25 school.

Fund-raising is robust, boosted by a $100 million gift from Jan Moran and the Jim Moran Foundation that is helping FSU create a new school, which Thrasher said will “change the face of entrepreneurial education in America.”

Thrasher pointed to a number of academic achievements by the FSU faculty, including research into the Zika virus and a major increase in research funding and grants. FSU has received a $10 million federal grant to create a center focused on improving nuclear waste cleanup.

Heading toward the 2017 legislative session, Thrasher said FSU would seek a significant funding boost to further raise the quality of the school, including an emphasis on graduate programs.

With lawmakers, like Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, talking about initiatives aimed at improving Florida’s higher-education system, Thrasher said he is “optimistic” about university funding in the coming session.

–Lloyd Dunkleberger, News Service of Florida

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9 Responses for “Thrasher, at FSU, Pledges to Kill “Campus Carry” Gun Bill Again As He Did in 2011”

  1. footballen says:

    He should ask Jameis to weigh in on the matter.

  2. footballen says:

    Didn’t Winston once get caught shooting squirrel’s out of a tree on campus?

  3. Knightwatch says:

    We can only hope John Thrasher is successful in stopping this insane Republican proposal to allow 21 year-olds to walk onto Florida’s college and university campuses and into classrooms fully armed with semi-automatic weapons. This would be complete madness. How can and sentient human being think this is a good idea? How can any father or mother condone sending their sons and daughters to a school in Florida knowing there will be possibly unstable students who may be having a bad day running around fully and legally armed?

    Your Republican legislature in action.

  4. RickG says:

    Supporting keeping guns off campus would make Thrasher a very strange Republican indeed. We can always hope that pragmatism wins.

  5. r&r says:

    There is NO reason to bring a gun to school. Anyone that does, must have a reason to use it.

  6. palmcoaster says:

    Thank you Mr. Thrasher!! Is just common sense and a life saver.

  7. Layla says:

    Is this a political or common sense issue? Seems to me that many are attempting to make it political when it should be the latter. I think that most parents of these students would rest easier knowing their students were well protected by armed campus security police. That should be enough.

  8. Knightwatch says:

    Layla, it is political when the measure was created and pushed by the NRA and enthusiastically supported by a cult of gun-addled Florida State Republican legislators. And this is not just a Florida issue. Republican legislators across the country have answered the NRA call for relaxed or if they can get it, no common-sense gun regulation. Note that you would be hard pressed to find Democratic lawmakers who are behind the NRA. Note also, it’s not that a majority of Americans are clamoring for the elimination of such regulations. The majority of Americans have repeatedly expressed the need for common-sense controls. Only the NRA and their well-fed Republican martinets are behind the insane notion that every American over the age of 21 should carry a gun, everywhere.

    I’m encouraged that you agree that armed campus security guards are sufficient. They can’t stop everything that might happen, but they make a lot more sense than frightened and untrained students firing into the darkness.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thrasher is like Herron….uses their former position to get what they want, Just not right!!! Thrasher is now a has been and better get used to the fact that he is no longer a Senator. When the voters realize what is going on hopefully they will vote out of offfice anyone who supports Thrasher’s position to stop this kind of manipulation. Welcome to our world John.

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