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Florida Congressional Democrats: Say No to Campus Carry

December 16, 2015 - 7:00pm
Lois Frankel, Alcee Hastings and Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Lois Frankel, Alcee Hastings and Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Florida congressional Democrats are speaking out against proposed legislation to allow individuals with concealed carry permits to bring their firearms onto college campuses, adding fire to a bill which is already heating up before the 2016 legislative session has even begun.

The group of 10 congressional represenatives penned a letter to Florida Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, and Florida House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, pleading with the two top-tier legislators to put a stop to the proposed legislation.

“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 reads. “Increasing the number of guns on college campuses is simply not the answer.”

HB 4001/SB 68, sponsored by state Rep. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, and state Sen. Greg Evers, R-Baker, would allow concealed carry permit holders over the age of 21 to carry their weapons on public college and university campuses in Florida. 

U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, said state lawmakers needed to think about the effects the legislation would have on students and faculty members who might not be totally comfortable with having guns on campus. 
“Florida’s colleges should be safe for our students, not remakes of the Wild West,” Frankel said. “The state Legislature should take seriously the concerns of university administrators, police, parents, and students and stop these reckless bills.”

Other members of the state congressional delegation joined Frankel in the letter, which was also signed by Florida Democrats U.S. Reps. Corinne Brown, Alcee Hastings, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Kathy Castor, Ted Deutch, Frederica Wilson, Patrick Murphy, Alan Grayson, and Gwen Graham.

The represenatives join a chorus of groups opposed to the legislation, including the State University System of Florida, university presidents, police chiefs, teachers and some students who say the bill is bad news for safety on campus. 
“College students are already known to disproportionately engage in high-risk behaviors such as binge drinking and to struggle with mental health issues including thoughts of suicide,” the represenatives wrote. “Increasing students’ access to guns only increases the likelihood that volatile situations on campus will end in tragedy.”

Despite the Democratic congressional represenatives' opposition to the legislation, several groups have already pledged their fervent support of the proposal, which heads to the full legislature next month. The National Rifle Association, which boasts 5 million members, has made the legislation a top priority for the 2016 legislative session. 

Former NRA President Marion Hammer said keeping guns off campus gives wrongdoers freedom to commit senseless crimes against innocent victims.

“The plain truth is, campuses are not safe,” Hammer wrote in an email Tuesday. “They are ‘Gun-Free-Zones’ where murderers, rapists, terrorists, and robbers may commit crimes without fear of being harmed by their victims.”

The legislation easily sailed through the necessary subcommittees recently, but a previous proposal to legalize the measure fell flat during last year’s legislative session. 

Supporters of the legislation say it gives Second Amendment rights to concealed carry permit holders and would not result in further gun violence on college campuses, which are typically gun-free zones. 

 The full text of the letter is available here.


I'm a conservative republican, and I generally support the right to carry for CCP's, but the idea that this is acceptable on a college campus, in a football stadium, or anywhere else where large crowds gather is mind-blowing. When the first responders arrive, how do they know who the good guy is? "STOP SHOOTING AND SHOW ME YOUR PERMITS!!!" Yeah, right. Who says the bad guys can't get their own permits (or steal those belonging to others)? It is very easy to foresee the day when an innocent person is shot by a CCP holder, or a CCP holder is shot by a policeman who confused them with the original "bad guy". Then everyone (except perhaps NRA members) will say "what were they thinking when they passed that bill"? Terrorist-style shooting is horrific, but allowing open or concealed carry on college campuses has much more potential to make matters worse than it does provide a solution. I hope the legislators use some common sense on this one.

If those impotent gasbags want to have some influence in the Florida Legislature, perhaps they should run for state office. They sure don't do anything in Washington.

If there have been 23 shootings on campuses this year, then the law has apparently been broken that many times. It's pretty well known that some students bring guns to campus despite the rules. Denying concealed carry holders the right to defend themselves makes no sense. The students who "disproportionately engage in high-risk behaviors such as binge drinking and struggle with mental health issues including thoughts of suicide" will be the younger students who are not allowed to get a CC license anyway. By the time they're 21 and are in their 4th year of college, they should have matured beyond that point.

Most all my friends carry on school grounds. better safe than sorry.

The Democrats never miss an opportunity to infringe on the 2nd Amendment.For those less informed people this bill does not arm 18-19 year olds.What it does is allow adults,21+,who already have a concealed carry permit,to carry like they always do.CCP holders are some of the safest,most responsible people in society.Studies have shown that when concealed carry increases crime decreases.Stop falling for the emotional argument & get informed.

Really? 21 is that different from 19?? My daughter doesn't want to sit in a classroom full of loaded guns! Nor around a bunch of drunk college kids with a gun. This is just plain dumb!

Comments in here proving 75% of Floridians are redneck idiots.

And your comment proves that you are the smartest guy on the board? NOT!

As opposed to your well-considered, intelligent comment?

With a name like WOW you know they're very well informed,probably a Harvard grad!

"To ban guns because criminals use them, is to tell the innocent and law-abiding that their rights and liberties depend not on their own conduct, but on the conduct of the guilty and the lawless, and that the law will permit them to have only such rights and liberties as the lawless will allow... For society does not control crime ever, by forcing the law-abiding to accommodate themselves to the expected behavior of criminals. Society controls crime by forcing the criminals to accommodate themselves to the expected behavior of the law-abiding." -Jeff Snyder

You have an impeached judge, a do nothing Congresswoman an the leader of the Democrate Party what a group I have watched the 2 woman an how they spin everything. I don't know much about Congressman Heasting except he has answered questions put to him with no spin. But do they really know what is going on. I don't think so.

And you can't even spell words correctly when they appear in an article you're commenting on. So what does that say about YOUR credibility?

Donna-do-you-wanna....stay on focus with the issue at hand,..or pretend to teach grammar?

and you are so ignerent from your gubmint skool edumencation to know that the Feral Gov. has No Say in this matter. But ProgreSSive DemocRats, like You, want just one centralized tyrannical authority like most prog putzes.

And you can't even spell words correctly when they appear in an article ON WHICH YOU'RE COMMENTING. Fixed it for you, MIss Credibilility.

Perhaps these folks should put up "GUN FREE ZONE" signs in their front yards if they feel so strongly about folks being allow to protect themselves.

Good Lord. Some strong feelings. While I am not particularly a fan of "open carry" I do feel that CWP holders should be allowed anywhere. Including the capital when the legislature is In session. If one out of a million turns out to be a wacko while visiting that august body, well, call it collateral damage. Open carry would lead to Democrats and other liberal types wetting their pants in public and then seeking monetary damages. If I have a gun on me, I don't want you to know about it. Rather like I support the right to fly the Confederate flag - but don't - because my windows would all be broken. Lois Frankel is an ineffective wannabe power player on the state level. She isn't, and won't be. Alcee Hastings should still be in prison. What a sick joke he is. We should leave Debbie Shultz alone as she does more damage to the Democrats then we ever could.

Exactly a symptom of why I left "diversity and Intolerant" Florida. Can't fly your Confederate Flag??? I'm in Gun Liberty loving GA and Confederate flags fly freely. Less so in Atlanta, but night and day from the white ProgreSSive sheeple in FL. No Ready for Hilarity bumper stickers here.

Wow! To continue to disarm anyone who has a CCP is not going to make anyone safer. All who hold permits and carry do it for everyone's protection. The bad guys will not obey the laws and if they know it a gunfree zone, that's where they will hit. Why do you think there have been all the shootings on campuses and schools of late. When my son turns 21 he will have a CCP. This is not the world it use to be and if some jerk comes in shooting up the place I want him to have a chance to defend himself and others. Stopping guns on college campuses will only make the criminals safer and will not stop gun violence. Criminals don't obey the law!

So... If you are 21 you will have a right to defend yourself, but, if under 21 and most students are, you have to hope the person with the gun is there to protect you? Some campuses do not allow pepperspray or tazers. Add them to the bill, so anyone can legally carry one them on campus. Both are legal to carry concealed elsewhere, by anyone. Further, I have no problem with CCP, but I feel they are under-trained. A couple hours class and a few rounds downrange are not enough. Every NRA course I took in the 70s was more time and training.

If licensees are undertrained, then some evidence of that would exist in the form of convictions for aggravated assault, negligent homicide, etc. Yet in the quarter century of data collected by the licensing division found a grand total of 168 out of over 2 million licensees had their licenses revoked for a crime involving a firearm - so few that the division quit counting in 2012. And what makes you think licensees aren't already doing what you did - seek additional training and range time? If you're going to make a legal mandate of training, then there should be some tangible evidence of its need.

Gee Rich, what makes you think they all do? Weapons skills are hard won and easily perishable, needing constant refreshing. Then consider, there is a huge difference between shooting at stationary paper targets and moving ones that are shooting at you. Or being aware of what is downrange of your target. No major problems yet? How about aiming to never have any?

What makes me think they do? Because we have over a quarter century of data saying licensees are responsible and law-abiding. And during all that time, they have defended themselves without the collateral damage to which you refer. To me, this indicates as a group, they do in fact refresh their skills. Now, show me where a considerable number of licensees have inflicted collateral damage as a result of their use of lawful self-defense. You cannot because it is simply conjecture on your part.

Thank You for a well penned statement.

I think it is time to allow anyone to have guns in the legislature, the capital too if they vote for guns on campus. If it is good for one it's good for the other.--------------------------------------------------------------- The gun you, your family are most likely to die from is the family gun. They rant about terrorists but gun totting fools is a far more dangerous to the average person than terrorists are. 30k gun deaths/yr and they won't even allow them to study gun deaths.

1. Licensees are allowed to carry in the capitol, just not in the meetings of the Legislature or committees thereof. 2. 90% of gun violence is committed by felons, who are prohibited by both state and federal law from possessing, let alone carrying and using firearms. 3. Of the 30,000 deaths per year, 2/3 are suicides, and about 500 are unintentional. This leaves about 9,000 gun homicides. As stated, 90% of gun crime is committed by felons. This leaves about 900 gun homicides committed annually nationwide by other than felons, in a nation of over 300 million guns in 100 million homes. 4. Despite more guns in the country, more people in the country, and a general relaxation of gun control, the RAW number of gun deaths has remained relatively steady at about 30K per year since as far back as 1981. I'd have to rate your assertion as unsubstantiated.

This is absolutely untrue. Articulating a lie over and over, does not make it true.

How foolish. 30k deaths from "the family gun"? Vast majority of gun violence is gang related. So, they're not trained to your "high standards from the 70's" ? What about the 21 year-old Marine veteran student? and, as daw as your rediculous comment about arming the legislature, they're probably all armed. They just don't want you to own a gun.

One person's comfort is no reason to deny another's rights. You would think Democrats would understand this since they claim to be for individual rights.


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