Concealed Carry Debated for College Campuses in FL, TX


College students in Florida and Texas are one step closer to being allowed to carry a concealed weapon on campus near the second anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shootings.

After a shooting occurred at Florida State University’s library, the The Students for Concealed Carry FSU asked lawmakers to lift the current ban that does not allow firearms on campus.  The group sent a letter to Rep. W. Gregory “Greg” Steube, (R.), asking legislation for guns to be allowed on school grounds.

Steube introduced a bill, SB176, earlier last week urging for guns to be allowed on college and university campuses.

All of this is happening at the same time as the second anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shootings, when a gunman killed 20 students, 6 teachers and himself at the elementary school in Connecticut.  The gunman had also killed his mother.

“I think it (the attack) brings it closer to home for people who think these events don’t occur in Florida, or that law enforcement can prevent them from happening,” Steube told the News Service of Florida on Tuesday.

Just this November, Myron May shot three students in the FSU library despite the ban on guns on campus in place.  He was shot and killed by police after refusing to surrender.

The ban did keep an Army veteran from stopping May, according to Erek Culbreath, president of SCC at FSU.

“He had a clear shot at the shooter but wasn’t able to carry his firearm,” Culbreath said.

Although the veteran has asked for his name to not be released to the media, he did say he would be willing to testify before the Florida Legislature.

One of the students involved in the FSU library incident was Nathan Scott, a member of SCC at FSU.  After the incident, the group released a statement saying that both Scott and the veteran, “in spite of having the training and skills necessary to end the shooting, were powerless to prevent it due to Florida’s laws.”

The bill is seeing overwhelming support on the FSU campus, much of which has come after new perspectives were gained as a result of the November shootings.

Texas A&M University is also considering allowing firearms on campus.  The student body president Kyle Kelly signed the Personal Protection Act last week, which asks for the ability to carry a concealed weapon on campus.

“To sign or veto this act was the most difficult decision I have made serving as student body president. This is a very complicated issue of personal rights, but more importantly, public safety. I have discussed it with A&M students, administration, faculty, staff, and police,” Kyle Kelly, president of the student body, said in a prepared statement.

“Institutions of higher education should not be an exception to the constitutional right to bear arms for self-defense and public safety,” Kelly said.

Signing the act does not change the law currently in place on campus, although it does allow students to advocate to university administrators and lawmakers in the state concerning carrying concealed weapons on campus.

A news report by the Huffington Post stated that there were 27 shootings on or near college campuses in the last year.