Students Are Now Free to Bring Guns to University Campuses, Appeals Court Rules

Categories: Broward News

The First District Court of Appeal has ruled that Florida universities cannot regulate guns on their respective campuses.

The Florida appeals court handed down the ruling on Tuesday, siding with the University of North Florida and gun rights groups, that universities can't keep their students from storing guns in their cars on campus.

See also: Rep. Dennis Baxley Favors Ending Ban on Guns in Schools

According to Florida law, students are not allowed to walk around their campus brandishing a pistol. But the loophole here seems to be that there's nothing in the law that prevents a student from keeping a gun in their car in a university parking lot.

So, the appeals court ruled that universities can't keep a student from doing just that.

Judge Philip Padovano did not agree with the ruling, saying that voters approved an amendment giving universities power to regulate things such as a kid walking around with a gun.

"These opinions pursue differing legal theories but they all arrive at the same conclusion: that a state university is powerless to prohibit students from bringing firearms to school," Padovano wrote. "This remarkable conclusion is not supported in the law, and with due respect for my colleagues, I believe that it defies common sense."

Basically, the court says that, while universities can regulate other lawful things on their campuses and parking lots, they overstep themselves if they try to regulate students packing heat.

Judge Clay Roberts, one of 15 judges who ruled on the case, said the universities restricting certain activities is far different from not allowing them to bring guns.

"Restricting recreational activities is a far cry from restricting a fundamental, constitutional right to keep and bear arms for self-defense," Roberts wrote.

So, basically, all Florida universities are free to tell their students they cannot smoke a cigarette or have a beer on campus. But bringing a loaded firearm is totally different, because cold dead hands and all that.

Send your story tips to the author, Chris Joseph.

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winsomelosesome topcommenter

None of this makes me sleep any easier.  I'm supposed to tell my daughter to start packin' heat on her way to class.  Come on Man!

The type of shooting to which I'm referring has nothing to do with a planned crime.  It is a deranged individual with a psychological ax to grind, taking it out on whomever is in the area at the time.  He/she won't care if you are armed or not.  It won't make any difference.  You won't see it coming.

It will happen regardless of whether you allow guns or not.  I happen to think it will be more difficult with them being banned.


When seconds count, the police are only minutes away!  

the fact is 9 out of 10 criminals, prefer unarmed victims.  

If a criminal THINKS you may have a gun, do you think they are more or less likely to commit a crime in front of you or against you?


Good start. Now the courts have to give back the students rights to be able to defend themselves on campus. Face it. The only people helped by the gun bans on campus are the crazies who want to shoot up a campus. No crazy person has ever been stopped by a "gun free school zone" sign.  All of the pro-crime gun control laws need to be eliminated.

Danny Morin
Danny Morin

Yes because you know, school shooter would never bring guns if it was against the law.

winsomelosesome topcommenter

Stupid, stupid, ruling.  Soon there will be an instance where a student goes to his car, gets his/her gun and melee ensues.  The clock is ticking.  Schools should be weapon free zones.  I have kids in college.  This sure makes me feel safer for them.

Anthonyvop1 topcommenter

The problem isn't that students can bring guns on campus.

The problem is that Universities want to control what the students Eat, Drink and, even worse, say!


yeah,  for criminals.

-Please post a GUN FREE ZONE sign on your front yard... 

Because that will keep criminals from bringing a gun to rob you.  

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