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Politics

Campus Carry Supporters: 'No Evidence' of Increased Gun Violence by Concealed Permit Holders

September 21, 2015 - 9:30pm

Florida lawmakers are gearing up for a showdown over allowing concealed weapons on campus -- and supporters of the legislation are honing in on what they say is a “lack of evidence” proving concealed carry permit holders would engage in violence if the legislation was passed in the Sunshine State.

The legislation, which was filed in the House and Senate by Rep. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, and Sen. Greg Evers, R-Baker, would allow concealed weapons permit holders aged 21 and older to carry their firearms on public colleges and universities.

Since the legislation’s proposal, it’s gathered wide criticism from students, police chiefs and university staff, many of whom say they’re worried bringing guns into an already stressful environment would create a dangerous -- and potentially lethal -- environment for college students.

"The idea of having someone armed in that kind of environment ... is not something that leads to likely good outcomes,” said Tallahassee Community College President Jim Murdaugh.

In order to get a concealed weapons permit in Florida, permit holders must go through a background check and complete a training course to make sure they are competent with a firearm. Under the proposed legislation, they would be the only ones legally allowed to carry guns on campus, meaning not all students would be armed.

Supporters of the bill say there’s no evidence concealed carry permit holders are more likely to engage in gun violence than anyone else, a point which seems to have become the center of supporters’ retorts against opponents of the bill.

Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, questioned Jim Murdaugh’s evidence during a Senate Criminal Justice Committee hearing last week. When Bradley asked Murdaugh if he had any evidence concealed carry permit holders engage in gun violence in Florida, Murdaugh came up dry.

"I have no evidence to that effect, sir,” he told the committee.

The National Rifle Association was quick to pounce on the apparent weak chain of the opponents’ lack of evidence. In an email sent Monday, NRA past president Marion Hammer slammed state employees who lobbied against campus carry (specifically TCC’s Murdaugh), saying those who testified against the legislation had nothing upon which to base their “political diatribe.”

“State employees have been and continue to lobby against the constitutional rights of the citizens they were hired to serve and who pay their salaries,” she wrote, calling the lobbying an “egregious misuse of public funds.”

“Claims of collective opposition from state colleges and universities doesn't make them right, it merely reveals their willingness to march in collective unison to advance their own personal brand of anti-gun politics – while denying reality,” Hammer continued.

Gun issues are already becoming a hot button for state lawmakers despite the 2016 regular session being nearly three months away. Other bills are already being proposed to change gun laws in Florida, including a bill to allow open carry for any concealed weapons permit holders in Florida. That bill has yet to appear in any committees.

The 2016 regular legislative session begins in January.

Reach Allison Nielsen at allison@sunshinestatenews.com.

 

Comments

Young, pretty, defenseless girls. Hmmmm, talk about a target rich environment.

A liberal is always easy to spot. They talk about things they have no experience with and are always on the lookout to tell others what to do. Because they know better than you. Like this issue for example. Well here's a story for you. My daughter was at her local campus, at night, going to her car. I had always cautioned her about this. She always told me she kept her eyes open and was being "careful". I always told her to bring her concealed weapon to school in clear violation of the law. She is and has been a licensed concealed carry owner. I only cared about my daughter, not this law or the campus rules. She's my only daughter after all. I reasoned that we would worry about any repercussions later if anything happened. She would never carry her weapon no matter how much I plead with her. My daughters a regular Dudley Do Right. No rule breaking for her. I think you know where this story is going. So, on a nice summer night as she was about to get in her car, Which was parked a way's from her class room, a hand went around her neck and she was dragged to the ground and assaulted. She was not able to protect herself either with a gun nor pepper spray as this was forbidden as well. My anger at this school and these laws know's no bounds. You do gooder's are always spouting your dribble saying how you want things to be, but never seem to notice how the world really is. Thanks to your rules, my daughter is now traumatized for life from this incident. I just wish she had listened to her dad and broken those liberal rules just this once.

This is a fictional account and never occurred. Please keep this story in mind as you debate this law. Think about your children, if you have any as this could easily come to pass.

Where is the support for disarming all police - while those police are on campus? All available data show that police are more likely to commit crimes than are gun cary permit holders. To be consistent, those against civilian gun carry on campus MUST also be against police gun carry.

So glad I have already graduated from college. Alcohol, guns and a still developing brain do not mix well. Hopefully the NRA and their lackies will lose this one.

No one's talking about having a gun at parties, (which are usually off campus anyway). We're talking about in the classroom and walking home from night classes and things of that nature. This law needs to pass. College age kids already have concealed carry permits and carry everywhere else. There is zero evidence whatsoever that opening up campus carry would have any negative impact others than speculative fear from people like yourself.

Ms. Loo Clearly you don't understand that when carrying a conceal weapon it is illegal to consume alcohol. I am guessing here your degree was liberal arts.

Typical low IQ libtard.....

Maybe you should tell the military that.

"The idea of having someone armed in that kind of environment ... is not something that leads to likely good outcomes,” said Tallahassee Community College President Jim Murdaugh. Herein lies the problem. Murdaugh and his ilk believe there aren't any armed people on campus now. There are, but they are called criminals. They carry illegally. Denying the statistically proven law-abiding licensee does nothing to stop those criminals, and in fact, facilitates a more robust supply of helpless potential victims.

I am proud my state is moving in the direction to get out of the way of law-abiding people to freely carry a weapon anywhere and however they wish!

I couldn't agree more, every place I can't carry my gun is,a,violation of my 2nd Amendment Right!!! Fla Hospital doesn't allow guns, I probably need one there has much as I do at the Getto Walmart in Tampa!!!

Add tazers and pepperspray. There are campuses that do not allow them

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