FSU, USF football fans with permits can take guns to Saturday's game, lock them in vehicles

Published Sep. 10, 2015

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State and USF football fans who go to Saturday's game in Tallahassee can take their guns if they have a concealed weapons permit and they keep the guns locked in their cars, FSU said Wednesday, the day after being sued for a policy that bans guns on campus.

But that's not good enough, said Florida Carry Inc., the group that's suing the school. It maintained that all legal gun owners, permitted or not, should be able to lock their guns in cars on campus all the time, whether they're there for sports events, classes or visiting.

FSU said it still has a strict policy of not allowing guns on campus but two year ago began making an exception for people who have a concealed weapons permit and who lock their guns in their cars. The policy change came after Florida Carry won a lawsuit against the University of North Florida that overturned a policy banning guns locked in cars. FSU said it had updated its website with game-day policies to address Florida Carry's lawsuit.

FSU also said it would continue to oppose legislative efforts to allow concealed weapons permit holders to take guns on campus.

"While we fully intend to continue complying with Florida law, I nevertheless reiterate my strenuous opposition to the recent initiatives to permit the carrying of guns on university campuses. I do not believe that arming students increases campus safety," President John Thrasher said in an email.

Florida Carry executive director Sean Caranna said he planned to follow through with the lawsuit, saying the university's statement doesn't address student codes and because legal gun owners without permits should also be able to keep guns locked in cars.

"This is wholly insufficient," Caranna said. "Their attorneys I'm sure are very good, but they are not experts in firearms law."