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UNF student, appellant satisfied with court ruling on campus guns

10:31 PM, Dec 10, 2013   |    comments
Alexandria Lainez (Photo courtesy Facebook)
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A Florida District Court of Appeals ruled public universities cannot prohibit guns stored in cars Tuesday. The ruling came after a student challenged the University of North Florida which was regulating guns against Florida law. 

Alexandria Lainez has been a student at the University of North Florida for two years. She's been a gun owner for three and a member of Florida Carry, so when she learned that the university prohibited her from keeping her gun in her car, she acted.

"As a single mom, I do travel from school and I feel that it's important for myself and many other students who are also concealed weapons license holders to be able to carry our guns when we go to school," said Lainez. 

As of 2011 the Florida Legislature spelled out that regulating the possession of firearms is up to the legislature.

"When the law passed, we went to the President of UNF and asked Mr. Delaney to please change the rule in compliance with the law, he refused to do so, and so we filed suit," said Attorney Eric Friday, Lead Counsel, Florida Carry Inc. 

The First District Court of Appeals has ruled in Lainez's favor Tuesday, declaring only school districts could regulate firearms. 

It's still a crime to carry firearms on any school grounds in Florida even with a concealed weapons permit. Attorney Eric Friday says that does not necessarily make it safer.

"Mississippi allows carrying K-12 now within the carry permit, no mass shootings for years; Colorado allows carry on university campuses, no mass shootings; Oregon," said Friday.

UNF's rule to prohibit weapons in cars was punishable by suspension, expulsion and even on campus arrest. Some students have been in favor of it.

"Just because if they were to feel threatened in any kind of way, if something were to break out on campus, they would run to their cars and then you have multiple people shooting," said Darlissa Gil, a UNF student. 

The school released a statement saying "We are reviewing the opinion and we will be discussing possible options with our attorneys. "

Attorney Eric Friday says after 10 days the appeal will be in effect unless the school files a motion for rehearing. 

Anyone carrying a weapon on any school campus even with a concealed weapon will be charged with a misdemeanor, if you do not have a permit, it is a felony. 

First Coast News

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