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Facing Lawsuit from Florida Carry, FSU Scraps Gun Ban in Cars on Football Game Day

| September 10, 2015

guns fsu game day parking lot

Not quite ‘securely encased.’ (Jim Handcock)

A day after getting hit with a lawsuit by a gun-rights group, Florida State University on Wednesday updated information in a football “game day” guide about fans keeping firearms in their vehicles.

But the changes to the school’s “Game Day Plan 2015” guide for fans won’t holster the legal challenge by Florida Carry Inc. Sean Caranna, Florida Carry executive director, said the group will continue seeking an injunction against university President John Thrasher and university Police Chief David Perry.

Meanwhile, another high-profile issue about guns on campus will heat up again next week when House and Senate panels consider controversial proposals (HB 4001 and SB 68) that would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to carry firearms at colleges and universities. The idea stalled during this spring’s legislative session, but gun-rights supporters are bringing it back for the 2016 session.

The Florida Carry lawsuit stems, in part, from a 2013 ruling by the 1st District Court of Appeal that said the University of North Florida could not prevent firearms from being stowed in cars on campus.

The original version of FSU’s “game day” guide said weapons are prohibited on campus and that a “fan may not store firearms or other weapons in their vehicles parked on campus while attending the game.”

In updating the guide Wednesday, the university removed references to weapons from a section regarding parking. In another area of the guide, the school noted that while weapons and firearms are permitted in vehicles on campus, the items must be “securely encased in the vehicle.”

Caranna, who hopes to get a judge to rule before Saturday’s FSU home game against the University of South Florida, said only handguns must “meet the definition of being securely encased.”

“The new policy and the statements in their press release are insufficient and factually wrong,” Caranna said. “They could have saved us all a lot of trouble by giving us a call asking us and our attorneys to help them update the policy and come in compliance.”

Florida Carry and FSU graduate student Bekah Hargrove, a member of Florida Students for Concealed Carry, argue in the lawsuit that the “game day” guide fails to follow the 2013 ruling by the 1st District Court of Appeal.

The guide provides general information on parking, traffic patterns, tailgating, concessions, and other items such as banners, drones and smoking.

On Wednesday, the university acknowledged in a release that the guide hadn’t been updated to reflect the 2013 ruling. The school also pointed out in the release that while the out-of-date web site language existed, nobody had been cited for having firearms or weapons legally secured in vehicles.

Thrasher, a former powerful lawmaker, has been a key opponent of the legislative proposals that would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to carry guns on college campuses. The renewed proposals are scheduled to be heard next Wednesday in the Senate Criminal Justice Committee and the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee.

In a prepared statement Wednesday related to the Florida Carry lawsuit, Thrasher indicated he hasn’t changed his mind about those legislative proposals.

“While we fully intend to continue complying with Florida law, I nevertheless reiterate my strenuous opposition to the recent initiatives to permit the carrying of guns on university campuses,” Thrasher said. “I do not believe that arming students increases campus safety.”

–Jim Turner, News Service of Florida

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17 Responses for “Facing Lawsuit from Florida Carry, FSU Scraps Gun Ban in Cars on Football Game Day”

  1. Bob says:

    Personally, I’m for an open carry law.

  2. Footballen says:

    They need to ban “punching women in the face” from the football players list of favorite things to do!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Having ones firearm locked in and out of site on your car should not be a issue or crime if you are legally allowed one. as for guns in dorm rooms that is a bad idea

  4. Knightwatch says:

    Well, Floriduh, to put it in biblical terms you probably understand, you reap what you sow. Guns and more guns in Florida’s colleges and universities. Soon enough human nature will prevail and the shootings will start. People will die. The gun lobby and their fawning Republican supporters will have more blood on their collective hands and they will blame anything and anybody but themselves and their gun fetish. The evil NRA wins again.

    • Bob says:

      Yes let’s disarm everybody except the police and military. Nothing bad could happen! Why not move to North Korea or Russia. Citizens don’t have guns there.

      • Knightwatch says:

        They don’t, Bob. And they don’t have 38,000 gun deaths per year. All of the western nations have tight gun laws and none suffer the carnage we have in the good ol’ U.S. of A.

        We will eventually destroy the NRA and get your guns. Count on it.

        • Bob says:

          They are also not free! You will never get our guns. Hitler got all the guns. Is he one of your heroes?

          • Knightwatch says:

            Shut the TV off, Bob, and read some actual history. Hitler did not get all the guns. The Nazi’s never disarmed the public. And they didn’t shoot each other. We do.

            It’s inevitable, Bob. We’re going to get your guns, one way or another.

            • Bob says:

              Nobody will ever get my guns, especially you Knightwatch. If the government ever tries to disarm the citizens there is going to be one hell of a war!

    • John Young says:

      Seems a little funny that you’re pretty cock sure of your view of the future and who is evil, but aren’t so much on adding a few facts or figures to back up your moral judgement. Maybe some time you could explain to us why you and other haters of constitutional rights & freedoms often seem to view everyone as evil EXCEPT the murderous insane criminals who use these bad evil guns to kill innocent people. But, if the murderers have at least some of the blood on their hands, then, are they all fawning Republicans, too? No, it just gets too confusing to me when I try to get into liberal reasoning, especially when reality shows that armed law abiding citizens are the only real check and balance against, and are much feared by the insane murderous criminals who prey on and murder unarmed innocent people. Maybe it is the Second Amendment and the informed people who support it that win again, and this in spite of your flawed moral judgements based on ignorance and specious reasoning.

  5. Marc says:

    This sounds like a great plan. Copious amounts of alcohol and easy access to firearms. What can go wrong?

  6. Sherry E says:

    Yes. . . we are currently right up there with Serbia and Yemen on the percentage of civilians carrying guns. . . wonderful examples of advances civilizations! The USA is by far the highest. . . we should be just soooo proud!! Take a look at the list:

    • Bob says:

      Israel and Switzerland have more per capita because the government issues guns to citizens. Guess what? Hardly any gun deaths. The problem in the U.S. Is the number of freaking lunatics!

  7. Geezer says:

    The gun craze is a much like a mental illness. The more we read about
    – the more we want guns. Look at the Beltway killings, for
example: sales of Bushmaster
    AR15’s (the rifle used to snipe) skyrocketed
in response. Remember the nut at Virginia Tech?
    His actions spurred increased sales
 of high-capacity gun magazines OVERNIGHT!

    The more talk about gun control – the more Americans flock to gun shops.
When there’s a spectacular killing, such as in Sandy Hook in Connecticut,
people respond by flooding gun
    stores looking for the same brand and model gun for 
immediate purchase.

    I predict that we’re going to experience an uphill avalanche in killings driving
gun sales up exponentially. It’s a vicious cycle. “Vicious” for damned sure – that’s how our fellow citizens’
    minds work.
 Only in America does MURDER drive an industry other than the death-care industry.
    Our value system is deep in the toilet as a nation.

    If there is a God, you can be sure that we are not His favorites.
(capitalized as a courtesy to believers)
    President Obama is a god to the gun manufacturers.
He will be sorely missed when he leaves
    office. I think that Smith and Wesson, Ruger,
 and Colt will be in mourning for a while.
    If a Repugnican (sic) assumes office
he will actually drive sales down!
    All that the President’s talk on gun control
did was fan the flames of the gun obsessives
    – he threw the proverbial gasoline on to the fire.
    Soon you’ll be reading about another mass killing – maybe later today.

    What does that say about our country?

    America has gone NUTS.

  8. Sherry E says:

    Right On Geezer. . . you have put your finger on the core of the truth!

    • Geezer says:

      Hello Sherry:

      Thanks for the compliment, and I apologize for my sloppy formatting.
      It was one of those days.

      I always enjoy your comments!

  9. Sherry E says:

    Geezer :) Right back to you!

    Oh Yes, Bob. . . and how about the gun violence taking a huge dive after the gun buy back in Australia???? How about the much lower murder rate in the UK and other European countries with strict gun control laws? Cherry picking data that support preconceived agendas and prejudices is typical of those with closed minds.

    IMO Geezer, Nancy N, Knightwatch and others often share their wise lessons from experience, along with educated and thoughtful observations on our culture, political outrageousness, cultural biases, etc. Unfortunately, often to no avail when it comes to those who will not even consider ideas and thoughts from such reasonable sources.

    Hopefully, though, there are those less vocal readers who take in the discourse here and open their minds and hearts enough to season their judgement and voting habits going forward. We desperately need a clean out of the “fringe elements” and polarized politicians in Congress and our State Houses, if we are going to bring the USA into a better future.

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