The Tampa Tribune
Universities are justified in banning guns in residence halls, a
judge has ruled in a case that challenged the University of Florida's
The gun-rights group Florida Carry Inc., which has filed suit
against several universities and municipalities, argued in a suit filed
in January that the state law making it legal to possess a firearm at home trumped another that bans weapons on school property.
But Alachua County Circuit Judge Toby Monaco entered a summary
judgment on Wednesday stating that UF and President Bernie Machen were
not violating Florida law by recognizing the Legislature's prohibition
against guns in housing on university property.
Florida Carry last year won a decision by the 1st District
Court of Appeal asserting that the Legislature has sole jurisdiction for
gun policy, and universities could not ban weapons stored in vehicles.
“Unlike the right to have a firearm in a vehicle, the
Legislature's recognition of a person's right to possess a firearm in a
home does not extend to a residence hall on a university campus,” Monaco
said in this week's order. “There is no exception in (state law) for a
residence hall like there is for a vehicle.”
The university released a statement saying it was pleased with the ruling.
“The University of Florida fully complies with Florida law
that allows individuals 18 years or older to store their guns securely
in vehicles while on campus, as determined by a 1st DCA decision last
year, and the university will continue to do so,” the statement said.
“Florida law otherwise bans guns on university, college and K-12
campuses and at their events, with limited exceptions such as for law