Officers opposed to concealed carry on campuses


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Saturday is the second anniversary of the deaths of 20 students and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. A new report says there have been 95 shootings at schools nationwide since Sandy Hook, and eight of them have been in Florida.

When Florida State University's new president, John Thrasher, was a member of the legislature in 2011, he supported concealed carry on campuses until a constituents daughter died in a gun accident at FSU. Thrasher declined to be interviewed for this story.

The report from Everytown.org says Florida's eight school shootings since Sandy Hook ranked the state second in the nation, following only behind Georgia at 10.

Four of Florida's school shootings involved K-12 schools, including one in Ft. Myers, in which a father was targeted by unknown assailants.

"He pointed his gun at me and I feared for my life," the man said.

Florida's four other shootings were at colleges or universities, including last month's shooting of three students at FSU.

The shooting at FSU has revived legislative efforts to allow licensed students and faculty to carry concealed weapons on campus. The National Rifle Association says the Constitution doesn't exclude college campuses from the right to bear arms.

"We have a very strong constitutional right to self defense," said Marion Hammer, with the NRA. "Both rights are being denied if you set foot on a college campus."

The idea for concealed carry on campuses was first floated in 2011. FSU's police chief said concealed carry could create chaos at crime scenes.

"The dilemma it places our officers in (is) having to determine who is our aggressor, who is our assailant and who are people trying to help, so it's not the appropriate environment for additional weapons," said FSU police Chief David Perry.

Not only are university police chiefs opposed to faculty and staff carrying concealed weapons, they said they'd like to get rid of a current provision that allows guns inside cars on campus.

Four people died in the eight Florida school campus shootings. One was a suicide. Police shot and killed the assailant in the FSU library shooting.