FSU pulls back on gun policy ahead of game against USF

Florida State University is pulling back on its guns-on-campus policy.

Those planning to attend the upcoming football game between the Seminoles and University of South Florida can bring a firearm under two conditions:

  1. They must have a concealed weapons permit.
  2. They must keep it locked in their cars.

FSU changed the policy, which used to prohibit guns- even if they were securely locked in a vehicle, after being sued by a local organization called Florida Carry Inc.

The organization argues that any legal gun owner, with a concealed weapons permit or not, should be able to lock their guns in their cars when on campus for a football game, class or just a regular visit.

The lawsuit comes just before house and senate panels are set to consider controversial proposals that would allow people with concealed weapons licenses to carry firearms at colleges and universities.

The idea stalled during the spring's legislative session, but gun activists will likely bring it back for the 2016 session.

As Florida law currently stands, guns are prohibited on college campuses, unless they are securely locked in a vehicle.

There is a clause in the law that allows school districts to make their own rules on firearms, but a 2013 case ruled that it does not apply to universities and colleges, saying they are state institutions and not districts.

Based on that case, FSU did not have the power to prevent licensed carriers from having guns locked in their vehicles on campus.

The ruling was a result of a lawsuit from Florida Carry Inc. vs the University of North Florida.