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College Officials Oppose New Proposal For Guns On Campus

Rod Waddington via Flickr
Rep. Anthony Sabatini has filed a bill that would allow guns on Florida college campuses.

After failing in past years, a proposal to allow people to care concealed weapons on campus will go before legislators again during the 2020 session.

Rep. Anthony Sabatini, R-Howey-in-the-Hills filled HB6007 on Thursday. 

“Why do we strip Florida citizens of their rights without a shred of evidence that doing so makes us safer?" Sabatini said on his Facebook page.  "The Second Amendment makes us safer—“gun control” and gun-free zones are a dangerous sham based on a cheap emotional appeal.”

A similar proposal introduced during the 2019 legislative session by Sabatini died after it was not heard in House committees and did not have a Senate version. 

That proposal was opposed by many higher education officials. His new bill is receiving similar opposition. 

"I think it would endanger the safety of students if there were guns on campus," said Marjorie Sanfilippo, Assistant Dean of Faculty at Eckerd College. "Primarily because there would be an increase in suicides and accidental injuries, not because there would be an increase in violence. I don't see that.”

The University of South Florida also opposes the bill, said Marketing Director Adam Freeman.

“Campus safety continues to be the highest priority for the University of South Florida," Freeman said in an email.  "Our position remains the same from previous years when similar legislation has been proposed.  We support Florida maintaining its long-standing state law that prohibits carrying concealed weapons on university campuses."

About 10 percent of Floridians or 2 million people have concealed carry permits.

The legislature will consider the bill during the 2020 session.

Sabatini said he will file it every year he is in office until it passes. 

Carrie Pinkard is the Stephen Noble news intern for the summer 2019 semester. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Florida State University in English, before heading to USF St Pete to pursue a master’s in journalism.
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