Florida Carry files lawsuit against St. Petersburg College for illegal gun and defensive weapons regulations
On Friday, February 28th, 2014 Florida Carry received a member complaint that St. Petersburg College was still refusing to allow students and employees to lawfully store firearms in their personal vehicles while parked on campus despite a widely reported December 2013 ruling of the Florida 1st District Court of Appeal. Our Campus Policy Director contacted the college and was also told that firearms could not be stored in student's cars on campus. Such illegal policies adversely affect the rights of many of our members, and others, who attend the St. Petersburg College and live in the local community.
In December the 1st District Court of Appeal sided with Florida Carry in our lawsuit against the University of North Florida. The court ruled that college policies prohibiting the otherwise lawful possession of firearms, and other arms, on campus are preempted by both statute and by the Florida Constitution. In Florida Carry v. UNF the First District Court of Appeal ruled that "The legislature’s primacy in firearms regulation derives directly from the Florida Constitution... Indeed, the legislature has reserved for itself the whole field of firearms regulation in section 790.33(1)..." No public college or university has any authority to prevent students and the public from having a functional firearm in places that are constitutionally protected or permitted under state law. In short, colleges with such policies are breaking the law and violating the rights of students, employees, and campus visitors.
On December 23, 2013 Florida Carry issued a warning to public colleges and universities statewide.
"Any Florida public college or university that fails to notify all students and the public that prohibitive policies regarding the storage of firearms, or other defensive arms, in the personal vehicles of its students and visitors are void and unenforceable by the first day of Spring semester classes will be subject to being sued by Florida Carry for violations of 790.33 Florida Statutes and/or Article I, Section 8 of the Florida Constitution."
On Monday March 3rd, 2014 Florida Carry, Inc. filed a lawsuit against St. Petersburg College, it's board of trustees, president, and the campus security official enforcing the college's illegal firearm and non-lethal electronic defensive weapons policies. This is the fourth Florida College or University that Florida Carry has been forced to file a case against for refusing to follow state law. Florida Carry will not sit idly by and watch the civil rights of Floridians be violated.
Docket Overview: Lower Court Case Number: 14-001735-CI
Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court
Lower Court Filings:
3/3/2014 Plaintiffs' Complaint