On January 10th, 2014 Florida Carry, Inc. filed a lawsuit against the University Florida (UF), seeking a permanent injunction to protect the rights of students, faculty, and the public from the university’s illegal and unconstitutional regulations prohibiting or severely restricting firearms and weapons on all university property including in student’s personal vehicles and in university managed housing.
Since 1987 the Florida Legislature has preempted firearms law and issued state-wide licenses to carry concealed for self-defense. In December Florida Carry won a similar case against the University of North Florida (UNF). 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.
The University of Florida has failed to comply with the UNF court’s ruling by doing nothing more than adding an “Intent” footnote to only one of its illegal policies.
In 2008 the United States Supreme Court ruled that the right to keeps arms in the home is at the very core of the Second Amendment.
Today, (Wednesday July 30th, 2014) Circuit Court Judge Toby S. Monaco granted motions to dismiss and for summary judgement in favor of his alma mater and granted sovereign immunity to UF President Manchen. The lower court Judge ignored the plain language of multiple Florida firearms laws, multiple binding court cases from Florida and the US Supreme Court, turned to blind eye to university policies that are promulgated in continued violation, and refused to conduct any analysis of the right to keep and bear arms.
This is the same failure to follow the law and protect the fundamental right to keep and bear arms that we saw from another lower court in our case against the University of North Florida. Prior to winning the landmark Florida Carry v. UNF case that secured the right of students to store firearms in their cars parked on campus in the First District Court of Appeals late last year, another Florida Circuit Court Judge entered a similarly poorly reasoned decision.
“It’s disappointing but this type of ruling is exactly what we have come to expect from far too many intellectually dishonest lower court judges at this phase of any Second Amendment case.” said Florida Carry Executive Director Sean Caranna “Once again, we’ll appeal to the First DCA… and once again, we’ll win.”
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The Right to Keep and Bear Arms in Florida is under unprecedented attack. Florida Carry is fighting back hard in local government, the courts, and the state legislature but cash and volunteer action is necessary to support this important work.
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