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Guns on Campus May be Legal Soon in Florida

There are often two sides to a coin when it comes to the legal carrying of guns by just about anyone. This time, in the light of shootings on campuses throughout the country in recent years, Florida is considering legalizing gun possession on campuses in Florida.

The student group “Students for Concealed Carry” believes such a move would offer them the chance to defend themselves if confronted by a surprise gunman while on campus. Opponents, who include many law enforcement agencies and college faculty groups, believe that allowing guns on campus would lead to more shootings, not less, and the proposed law change would not be a deterrent.

The bill came up in 2014 not long after a campus shooting at Florida State University. This was just one shooting amongst 27 on university and college campuses in 2015.

A study conducted by Texas A&M University earlier this year revealed that crime does not encourage people to obtain concealed-carry permits and having concealed-carry permits does not appear to cause an increase or decrease in the incidence of crime, either. Florida residents, the study reportedly possess 1,450,000 permits to carry a concealed firearm or weapon.

Police and faculty representatives say preventing people from carrying guns on campus is mainly to do with public safety, so Florida campus police forces and the United Faculty of Florida are not supporting the bill.

Currently in Florida under Article I, Section 8 of Florida’s state constitution not all Florida residents are entitled to carry a gun and the state requires those who wish to must get a license. License holders can’t necessarily openly display a firearm. A bill to permit open carrying has failed but is also under reconsideration in Florida.

When it comes to permitting students on campus to carry guns, presently those below the age of 21 are not permitted to either carry a gun or get a license. Also, the present laws affect those who are from overseas countries who are studying in U.S. universities as non U.S. citizens are not permitted to either carry a firearm under any circumstances.

If the bill is passed there are a number of issues that will have to be addressed including age and nationality factors of those studying on Florida campuses.

At the moment if anyone is caught carrying a gun on campus or anywhere in Florida the penalties imposed by the state of Florida are harsh wherever you are in the state. If you don’t possess a concealed carry permit and you are caught you could be fined $5,000 or even receive a prison term of 5 years as a convicted felon.

If you decide that the only way you feel safe is by carrying a firearm but you are not entitled to do so and your are caught you will need a Florida criminal defense attorney to argue your case. A criminal conviction for a student is a serious matter and could not only involve expulsion from university but will prevent the person from pursuing the career of their dreams, and if the person is not a United States citizen, it may lead to their deportation.

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If you have any questions about this or any other criminal accusation, call Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Albert Quirantes at: 305-644-1800 or visit our homepage for a direct link to the office or a text message or a map and directions to our office.

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