The Senate Higher Education Committee passed SB 68 that has declared that it is okay for students and faculty to carry guns on Florida college campuses if the have their conceal carry permit. This includes Florida A&M University.
“Students are allowed to bring guns on campus if they have a CCW permit,” Terrence Calloway, FAMU Police Department’s Chief of Police, said. “The guns must remain in their vehicles, locked in a case and placed in the trunk or glove compartment.”
Chief Calloway is aware of the danger of allowing guns on FAMU’s campus, but he also understands why students and faculty would feel the need to.
“I would imagine students want to carry guns so that they feel safer, but I am against students having them because most lack training,” Calloway added.
In order to ensure campus safety, there are extra patrol officers in the evening and night hours. The FAMU Police Department is also partnering up with the Tallahassee Police Department and the Leon County Sheriff’s Office to provide the best coverage across campus.
The concern, however, also lies with faculty and students.
“People shoot each other, not out of fear of being harmed, but out of anger,” Nathaniel Johnson, Ph.D. associate professor in the economics department, said. “If you allow guns in school, where you can have any confrontation at any minute between a student and faculty member, what would end up happening is that people would end up getting harmed at a lot higher rate than what we have today.”
Danyae Hamilton, a second-year early childhood-education student from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., shares the same safety concerns as Chief Calloway.
“I don’t think students have enough discipline or self-control to be carrying weapons. If students were allowed to carry guns on campus, that would make me feel unsafe especially because I live in a dorm,” Hamilton said.
The FAMU Police Department is listening to the concerns of the students and the faculty. They have ordered various software packages that allow students to communicate with the police during critical times, as well as extra cameras and a new K-9 unit within the months to come.