Florida State University (FSU) football fans who were going to the Sept. 12 Seminoles’ game against the University of Southern Florida (USF) were to be allowed to take along their guns—if they had a concealed-weapons permit and they kept the weapons locked in their cars, according to Florida Carry.
The announcement of the change in policy came one day after FSU was sued over a policy banning all guns on campus. The university said that permitted gunowners could keep guns locked in parked cars.
But that did not satisfy Florida Carry Inc., which sued FSU seeking to allow all legal gunowners to keep guns locked in their cars, with permits or not.
The suit alleges that FSU President John Thrasher and campus Police Chief David Perry violated state law and trampled Second Amendment rights by threatening to arrest law abiding gunowners.
In 2014 then state Sen. Thrasher admonished Florida Carry during a legislative committee hearing for supporting a pro-Second Amendment bill that corrected an unconstitutional infringement on the right to bear arms rather than going to the courts and bringing a lawsuit.
Now, Florida Carry is taking his advice.
Florida Carry joins FSU Graduate Student Bekah Hargrove of Florida Students for Concealed Carry in filing Florida Carry v. Thrasher, seeking an emergency injunction against John Thrasher, now President of Florida State University, the university, and FSU Police Chief David Perry.
In 2013 the Florida First District Court of Appeals made it crystal clear, in the case of Florida Carry v. UNF (University of Northern Florida), that universities have no authority to regulate the lawful possession of firearms that are properly stored in private vehicles on campus. Despite the fact that FSU, Chief Perry, and President Thrasher are well aware of the law and the binding decision of the court, they have chosen to continue illegally prohibiting the possession of firearms in people’s private vehicles. They even go so far as to use their own police force to publicly threaten criminal enforcement of their unlawful regulations.
A recent release published by the FSU Police Department instructs that:
“Weapons and/or firearms are not permitted to be stored in a vehicle on the FSU campus at any time, including game days.”
The “FSU Game Day Plan 2015 – New Info” publication goes on to flout the laws of Florida by stating that:
“Weapons are prohibited on the Florida State University Campus at all times including football games. Fans may not store firearms or other weapons in their vehicles parked on campus while attending the game. Possession of a firearm or weapon on the FSU campus constitutes a felony and violators are subject to arrest pursuant to Florida Statute 790.115.”
The FSU Student Code of Conduct also attempts to enforce these illegal policies by prohibiting all “On-campus possession or use of firearms…” without an exception for firearm possession in a private vehicle and even “Off-campus… or unauthorized possession or use of firearms…”
“It has a chilling effect on the right to bear arms when law-abiding gunowners are lied to by public officials, especially ones who control their own Police Forces, and are told that they will be breaking a law by the legal possession of their firearms,” said Sean Caranna, executive director of Florida Carry, Inc.
“These publications are a blatant attempt by FSU President Thrasher, and his anti-Second Amendment employees, to enforce illegal gun control with the threat of throwing good people in jail for the lawful exercise of their right to bear arms. We demand that public officials follow the law and will stand for nothing less.”