Gun rights group sues Florida State University over whether students can keep guns in their cars

A nonprofit gun rights group, Florida Carry, Inc., is suing Florida State University over the university’s rules that prohibit students from keeping guns and ammunition in their vehicles parked on campus.

The lawsuit – which Florida Carry attorney Eric Friday says has been filed but not yet served – challenges FSU over an updated student code of conduct which Friday said is a “continued violation of Florida law.”

“Now, the language has been amended and restricts ammunition in vehicles and tells people they can’t have a long gun unless it was securely encased,” Friday said.

“Long guns” are firearms like shotguns and rifles that have longer barrels. The current student code of conduct does not mention long guns specifically but does say that students cannot have or use “firearms, antique firearms, ammunition…” or other weapons on campus.

Friday said that Florida laws do not prohibit students from keeping firearms in their cars, nor do the laws require that the weapons must be kept out of sight.

It’s not the first time FSU and Florida Carry have butted heads over the issue.

The filed lawsuit says the nonprofit sued FSU in 2015 over a similar issue when the university prohibited students from keeping firearms in their cars on campus (the code of conduct at that time did not include “ammunition”).

That lawsuit is still pending.

The current lawsuit says that the gun rights group has “numerous members who attend FSU,” and those members are afraid the university will punish them with academic and legal penalties if FSU finds guns in their cars.

“To our knowledge, FSU hasn’t enforced the policy,” Friday said. “But it’s not a question of whether they’ve enforced it or not.”

The university has its own accredited police department that can arrest students “who haven’t committed a crime,” Friday said.

Dennis Schnittker, director of university news and digital communications, said the university does not comment on pending litigation.

Florida Carry is demanding over $15,000 from the university, attorneys’ fees and costs, and that the university void the current rule.

 

CD Davidson-Hiers
CD Davidson-Hiers is a 2017 summa cum laude graduate of Florida State University with a degree in Creative Writing and French. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Golden Key honors societies, and has received multiple writing awards for fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Prior to joining the Florida Phoenix, CD worked at the Tallahassee Democrat and has bylines in Tallahassee Magazine. She is a native of Pensacola and currently lives in Tallahassee with her tabby cat, Faulkner.

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