Attorney challenges University of North Florida's gun rule

Published On: Mar 18 2013 09:33:59 PM EDT
Updated On: Mar 19 2013 06:46:15 AM EDT

A legal battle to force the University of North Florida to permit guns on campus .. Tomorrow a court will hear an appeal filed by a Jacksonville attorney.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

An appeals court hearing on a local attorney's challenge to the University of North Florida's gun ban will be held on Tuesday morning.

The meeting comes one day after a self-inflicted gunshot took the life of a former student in a University of Central Florida dorm. UNF insists its "no gun policy" is for the safety of students.

Attorney Eric Friday told Channel 4 Monday night that the University of North Florida is breaking the law. 

A gun tights advocate, Friday said Florida law states that guns aren't allowed on school campuses, but people can have guns securely encased in their cars on campus.

School districts waive that rule, but Friday said UNF shouldn't get that option. Two years ago, a lawsuit was filed against UNF and UNF President John Delaney.

"It's been the law in Florida for 25 years and for 25 years cities, counties and schools like UNF have violated this law and it's only when the legislature finally was ready to put a stop to it and said, 'You will obey the law or you will pay the penalty,' that they finally started coming and obeying the law. Unfortunately UNF chose not to do so," said Friday.

UNF issued this statement, saying the college is concerned about the safety of its students: "Other public universities in Florida have interpreted the law to read that universities can adopt policies that prohibit students from keeping weapons locked in the trunks of their cars. We do not allow students to bring weapons on campus and we do not allow students to keep weapons locked in the trunks of their cars. We believe that we are following the law and we believe this is the best policy for a safe campus."

Channel 4 headed to UNF campus to see what students there thought about the controversy, some say students and guns are not a good combination, others were not opposed to guns on campus.

"I am pro second amendment, the right to bare arms, so I believe that people should be able to conceal their weapons in their cars on college campuses," said UNF junior Fred Newbill.

"We saw what happened at Virginia Tech and we saw what happened at Columbine and even saw what happened in Connecticut a few months ago, that can definitely save a lot of lives in that case if the person is carrying the gun for the right reasons," said UNF alum James Williams.

"These mass shootings," said Eric Friday, "happen in gun-free zones over and over again and they prove the point that the only person who can stop a bad person with a gun is a good person with a gun," said Friday.

The appeals court hearing will be held Tuesday at 9 a.m. at the Florida Coastal Law School.

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