In the News

Florida Democrats in Congress weigh in against Legislature’s bid to allow guns on campus

John Kennedy | Palm Beach Post

f t # e
Washington, December 16, 2015 | comments

Florida’s 10 congressional Democrats joined together Wednesday in opposing effortsin the state’s Republican-led Legislature to allow roughly 1.5 million concealed weapons permit holders to bring their guns onto college campuses.

“We agree that campus violence is a serious problem. Sadly, there have been at least 23 shootings on college campuses just in 2015,” the letter states. “Increasing the number of guns on college campuses is simply not the answer.”

U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, a former state lawmaker, also went a little further.

“Florida’s colleges should be safe for our students, not remakes of the Wild West,” Frankel said in a statement. “The State Legislature should take seriously the concerns of university administrators, police, parents, and students and stop these reckless bills.”

The legislation (CS/HB 4001) has drawn controversy — and packed hearings — as it has advanced in the House. A similar idea also is moving forward in the Senate.

The measures are likely to head for full votes in the House and Senate soon after lawmakers convene the 2016 session on Jan. 12.

In committee hearings, the legislation has drawn a now familiar lineup of supporters and critics. Representatives of college and university administrators, campus police and faculty organizations have testified against the measure.

Supporters, including the NRA, argue campuses should not be allowed to bar those with permits from carrying their weapons with them.

The debate has raged at the state Capitol only a few miles from Florida State University, where in November 2014 gunman Myron May wounded two students and a library employee before being killed in a hail of gunfire from police.

The tragedy has frequently been cited by speakers on both sides of campus carry.

f t # e
Tags: Education