GROUP SUES Gainesville over weapons ban
White nationalist Richard Spencer's unwelcome descent on the University of Florida last month sent Gainesville into a whirlwind of preparations. Fears of violence, like what happened in Charlottesville, Va., led officials to ban weapons, among many other items, in parts of the campus and city. Now, pro-gun group Florida Carry is suing Gainesville and its city manager, Anthony Lyons, for that weapons ban, saying the city stepped outside its authority. A lawsuit filed Oct. 19 accuses the city of trampling on constitutional rights, causing "irreparable harm" to those who might have used guns to defend themselves the day Spencer came. The group argues that Gainesville crossed a line by banning Tasers, mace and other weapons, since the city and its manager "should know that they are without authority to regulate the bearing of arms, as only the Legislature may regulate the bearing of arms." It also says that, after Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in Alachua County, only he or the state could lawfully declare a weapons ban. Florida Carry is asking the court to permanently ban Gainesville from trying to regulate firearms through declarations or other emergency powers.
Student who was burned had lighter
A High Point Elementary School student who was airlifted with burn injuries Wednesday had a lighter at school, officials said Thursday. Pinellas County Schools spokeswoman Lisa Wolf said the student was burned while in possession of the lighter and described it as an "isolated incident involving one student and was not part of a classroom activity." Wolf would not say if the student would face any discipline, citing student privacy laws. The Largo Fire Department responded about 2:20 p.m. Wednesday, and a Bayflite helicopter flew the boy to Tampa General Hospital's burn center. The school at 5921 150th Ave. N, near St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport, was evacuated. No other students were in danger. A teacher who suffered minor injuries was back at school Thursday, Wolf confirmed.
Woman making bank deposit shot
A woman making a nighttime bank deposit in Brandon on Wednesday left with a gunshot wound, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. Alexandrya R. Marks, 23, was shot after she refused to open her car door to a man in a ski mask about 9 p.m. outside Wells Fargo at 204 S Kings Ave. The robber grabbed a deposit bag from inside the car and fled on foot. Marks was hit in the leg, but her wound was not life-threatening, the Sheriff's Office said. Investigators ask that anyone with information call (813) 247-8200. Or, to be eligible for a cash reward, call Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-873-8477, report anonymously online at crimestopperstb.com or send a tip using the P3 Tips mobile application.