Lawmakers again poised to address ‘campus carry’

Photo courtesy CBS News online

For the third straight yearFlorida state Reps.Anthony Sabatini and Mike Hill have submitted a proposal for the same widely scrutinized bill,  HB 6001, better known as “campus carry.”

His original stance in a Tweet posted in 2018, “The arbitrary restriction against CWP [concealed weapons permit] holders carrying on college campuses is likely the most irrational law in the Florida Statutes…”

His recent statements are remarkably similar.

“I really believe that there should  be no gun-free zone. Campuses are 10s and 10s and thousands of acres of land throughout the state of Florida that people are being stripped of their constitutional rights. If they want to go on a college campus they can’t defend themselves or carry a firearm and that’s unconstitutional,” Sabatini said at a news conference.

Since his original submission in 2018, Sabatini has not made any changes and stands firm on his push for upholding the Second Amendment.

This is an issue regarding the safety of college students and their rights, Sabatini, however, introduced   students who support the bill.

“Every student that I’ve spoken to who read the constitution loves the bill,” Sabatinisaid. “I’ve spoken to students that never read the constitution and they’re not big fans of it but I think it’s because they haven’t read or don’t understand the Second Amendment.”

Contrary to his statement, a lot of students, especially the students with concealed carry permits, have heard of this bill and they do not understand the logic behind the claim of protection.

Florida A&M SBI student Denai Johnson said that it is the campus’ job to provide safety and her job to pursue her education.

“I’m for self-defense and I believe in carrying a weapon for protection. However, I do also believe in safety and reasonable measures put in place to encourage that safety. Student’s should be focused on learning and engaging in college life when on campus. It is campus security’s job to help us feel safe while we’re there. It shouldn’t even be perceived as a place where I have to feel like I need my weapon on me. I should feel protected without it because my university cares about me enough to help me feel that way.”

FAMU alum DanielJoseph raises the question of safety for Black students as the bill comes at a sensitive time during police brutality, bigotry and the height of the Black Lives Matter movement.

 “Personally just reading the bill’s text I don’t think it to be a good idea. It’s also very vague,” he said. “More importantly laws like this almost always end up in inconveniences for minorities by way of racial discrimination. You may not see evidence of this on an HBCU campus, but I imagine that a Black student carrying a pistol openly at a PWI might end poorly.”

When told of Daniel’s comment regarding the targeting of Black students and Black people in general on campuses,Sabatini replied, “Right now anybody can go on a campus and commit a crime. That’s reality and that’s true and sadly it might happen, but our current policy for prohibiting concealed weapons from holders who obtain licenses is unconstitutional.”

Sabatini said on Friday that he is optimist that his fellow lawmakers will address the bill when session gets underway in March.