Florida lawmaker fights to allow campus carry

Florida Rep. Anthony Sabatini. Photo courtesy Lobby Tools

A Florida lawmaker has filed a bill to allow concealed-carry permit holders to carry guns on Florida college and university campuses.

The bill was reintroduced by State Representative, Anthony Sabatini, after previous unsuccessful attempts to gain support from the House of Representatives.

“Today I filed HB 6001, a Bill which eradicates the gun-free zones of college campuses in Florida by allowing concealed weapon permit holders to carry on campus. I filed this Bill last year and I will file it EVERY year I am a member of the Florida Legislature until it passes,” said Sabatini in an earlier tweet this year.

According to the Florida Senate’s official website, if passed, the bill would remove provisions that prohibit concealed carry licensees from openly carrying handguns or carrying a concealed weapon or firearm into college or university facility.

The lawmaker’s defense is that the bill would allow students to feel safer on college campuses in light of the recent mass shootings, knowing that there would be someone else who is armed in their proximity if a shooting were to occur.

Student’s here at Florida A&M University feel differently.

Jalil Reed, a civil engineer student understands that there should be a solution to preventing mass shootings but allowing campus carry should not be the only resolution.

“I believe lawmakers feel the need to pass laws such as campus carry because of the heightened mass shootings in America,” said Reed.

“I know they feel the need to take action and have an immediate solution to the problem but passing this bill can have a lethal backfire and that should be considered.”

In the state of Florida alone, there are over 2 million residents that possesses a concealed carry license, however the minimum age to obtain one is 21.

Keneé Williams, a criminal justice student at FAMU, says that she would fear for her safety if this bill were to be passed.

“I would not feel safe or comfortable sitting in a class with loaded guns not knowing what could happen next,” said Williams.

Williams believes that the added stress that some college students face, is not a good combination to have with allowing students to possess loaded weapons.

“Some people may not be able to control their anger, and the added stress of being a college student or professor can trigger a person into using gun violence.”

The bill is set to be considered in the upcoming 2020 legislative session this January.