By Sara Tipton
Should Florida’s HB 4005 become law, college students in the state of Florida will have the option to carry guns on college campuses. Sponsored by Representative Greg Steube, a republican out of Sarasota, HB 4005 gives college students over the age of 21 who have a concealed carry permit, the right to carry. Even in class. Many student groups objected to the measure, yet it passed a House panel Wednesday anyway . . .
As Rep. Stuebe told orlandosentinel.com,
“I would rather trust myself in a situation like that than wait on law enforcement to get there.”
Still, students and faculty from Florida State University claim guns on their campus will make for an unsafe and unstable learning environment.
“Faculty must feel confident they can challenge students intellectually and discuss controversial topics without the fear of an offended student brandishing a weapon in the classroom,” said Jennifer Proffitt, president of FSU’s United Faculty of Florida chapter.
Other students spoke in favor of HB 4005 saying that the right to bear arms shouldn’t be eliminated when crossing the campus property lines.
The National Rifle Association’s top lobbyist in Florida, Marion Hammer, said “The plain truth is campuses are not safe.” The bill will ensure female students can protect themselves against violent assaults or rapes.
Guns are allowed on campuses in nine other states and there have been no surges in criminal activity or injuries involving guns in any of them. For that reason, Representative Rene Plascencia, a Republican from Orlando, voted in favor of the bill. “It’s a perceived sense of not being safe, but it’s not what is actually happening,” Plascencia said. His district includes the University of Central Florida.