Is it a waste of time? Or is a legitimate fight for rights?
Florida Carry, a Second Amendment group is asking a three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal to make sure Florida State University revises the language in the student’s Code of Conduct about guns on campus.
Florida Carry wants the FSU student Code of Conduct to be identical to Florida law, and claims it is not.
The legal fight between Florida Carry and FSU started with a Florida Carry complaint to the courts about “erroneous” information about guns on campus that FSU printed in a football game day guide in 2015.
FSU agreed the information in the guide was incorrect. Florida Carry and an FSU student, said the guide contradicted a 2013 court ruling that the University of North Florida could not prevent firearms from being stowed in cars while on campus.
“The only reason that we’re here on the issue of guns in vehicles is because we inadvertently had a continuation of the publication of the so-called game day plan, of an erroneous statement, and no one has disagreed from day one that that was an erroneous statement,” said Barry Richard, an attorney representing FSU in the matter.
The 28-page information guide was sent out by campus police. In print, it says that firearms can’t be stored in vehicles parked on campus.
Richard says the student Code of Conduct is a “statement of information” and not adopted rules. Attorney Richard also made the point, that when Florida Carry raised the issue in 2015, the university corrected the game-day guide “within hours” of the lawsuit being filed.
In 2016, Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson ruled the Florida Carry argument was no longer valid since FSU corrected the game-day information.
But Florida Carry still argues FSU continues to improperly explain the state’s on-campus firearms laws in the university’s Code of Conduct for students.
“They still have a student Code of Conduct that says guns are not allowed on campus. Either don’t say anything or quote state law. It’s that simple,” explains Eric Friday, the attorney representing Florida Carry.
The recently updated Code of Conduct has a section outlining violations of student behavior: “On-campus possession or use of firearms, antique firearms, ammunition, destructive devices, or other weapons or dangerous articles or substances, including but not limited to non-lethal weapons such as pellet guns, bb guns, paintball markers, slingshots, crossbows, stun guns, tasers, metallic knuckles, archery equipment, or any dangerous chemical or biological agent.”
While Florida law prohibits people with concealed-weapons licenses from carrying guns on college campuses, the code outlines exemptions to the rule but doesn’t note the law allowing guns to be stowed in cars.