TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- Florida's 1st District Court of Appeals Court ruled on Tuesday that Florida's state universities do not have the power to prohibit the carrying of a securely encased firearm within a motor vehicle that is parked in a university campus parking lot.
The case stems from a lawsuit brought by a college student who was joined by gun rights advocacy group Florida Carry, Inc. against the University of North Florida for its student code of conduct ban on the storage of any “weapon or destructive device" in a vehicle located on UNF property.
UNF maintained that the university's regulation was authorized under section 790.115(2)(a)3., Florida Statutes (2011), which provides that firearms may not be possessed on school property except when securely encased in a vehicle, but that “school districts” may adopt policies to waive the secure encasement exception.
But the court reasoned that the legislature has not delegated its authority under the Florida Constitution to regulate the manner of bearing arms to the state universities because the statute clearly grants school districts the power to waive the exception – not colleges or universities. The court found that UNF is not a “school district” under statutory definition.