College Loses Gun Rights Case, Intends to Defy the Court and State Law Anyway
First, the good news: BizPacreview reports that a Florida court has ruled that college students don't surrender their constitutional rights as soon as they enter campus.
The Florida appeals court ruling that the University of North Florida was violating state law when it prohibited a woman from storing a gun in her vehicle while she attended class will spill over to cities and counties statewide, an attorney said Wednesday.
Florida Carry Inc. and Alexandria Lainez vs. the University of North Florida centered around Lainez’s ability to store a gun in her vehicle while attending classes at UNF so she would have available for self-defense while traveling to and from campus.
Lainez is a young mother, Friday said, “and she takes seriously her responsibility to protect herself and her child.”
Lainez, who’s 24 and has had a concealed weapons permit for three years, said she takes firearms safety and training pretty seriously, too. A Jacksonville resident with a half-hour one-way commute to school, she said she’s working to get students at other schools interested in gun training, too.
“I think it’s pretty important to be able to protect myself and my son, especially with that long commute to and from school.”
And making that commute armed means storing the gun on UNF property.
UNF bans all firearms on campus. Lainez sued to get UNF to change its regulation, and she won.
But the University of North Florida doesn't care.
In an emailed statement Wednesday, UNF Associate Director for Public Relations Joanna Norris wrote that the university is still reviewing its options on whether to appeal the case. Until it makes that decision, she wrote, the university’s policy prohibiting weapons on campus will remain in effect.
Friday (Lainez's attorney) said that means the university intends to continue breaking the law.
“In other words, despite the express, well-reasoned opinion of this court, they intend to continue violating students’ rights until they have to comply,” he said.
Florida has passed laws dealing with officials who defy the state's gun laws in ways that restrict Second Amendment rights. Those laws, if enforced, carry fines and even removal from office.