Shooting Raises Questions about Guns on College Campuses
The recent tragic shooting on an Oregon college campus is reigniting the debate over weapons and gun control laws. Lawmakers and citizens are discussing what level of government intervention is appropriate to prevent these types of mass shootings from occurring. The conversation has reached the state of Florida as legislators discuss whether students should be allowed to carry guns on college and university campuses.
As reported by an ABC News affiliate, students offer various opinions on the subject and their feelings of safety when going about their days on campus. Reporters spoke with several Florida college students about their desire to carry a gun. Most of the respondents reportedly stated that they felt safe on their campus and had no need to carry a gun. Another student explained that the legal presence of guns would actually cause more discomfort, from a fear of students handling them while under the influence of alcohol.
State Representative Greg Steube is a lawmaker who reportedly advocates for students to carry guns on campus. According to the article, he raises the Second Amendment in support of his contention and asserts that the initiative would work to prevent campus shootings. He is quoted in the article as stating, “America’s based on the freedom to be able to defend yourself, to defend others, and the inherent right to self-defense; and for some reason, we have stripped that right as you enter a college campus.”
Representatives from the School Safety Advocacy Council disagree with this assessment. They reportedly assert that efforts should instead be placed on the identification of individual warning signs and treatment for mental health issues.
What the Law Says
Under current state law, individuals with a concealed weapon permit are prohibited from openly carrying a gun on a college campus. Licensed students are allowed to carry or store a firearm in their vehicle on campus, but not on their person. Violations of the statute are classified as a second degree misdemeanor, with a potential punishment of 60 days in jail and/or a fine up to $500. Proponents of the open carry of guns are reportedly mounting appeals for convictions under the law.
When faced with gun charges, it is vitally important to secure the services of an attorney as soon as possible following your arrest. To successfully advocate for you, your lawyer may use a variety of defenses, including:
- Lack of Possession – To secure a gun charge conviction, the state must prove that you maintained control of the weapon. Your attorney may create reasonable doubt that you were in control at the time of arrest.
- Lack of Probable Cause for Search and/or Arrest – There are specific rules surrounding the ability of law enforcement to conduct a search of your person and place you under arrest. Your attorney may attack the validity of the search and/or the arrest, which can lead to the dismissal of charges.
If you are facing weapons charges within the state of Florida, contact Julia Kefalinos for a free consultation. Attorney Kefalinos can provide you with the aggressive and knowledgeable defense that your case requires. Call today at (305) 856-2713.