A bill that would allow guns on any state college or university campus was approved by the Florida Senate’s Criminal Justice Committee on Wednesday.
Under Senate Bill 68, students with the proper concealed-carry licenses would be allowed to carry guns on campus. The Florida Senate’s Criminal Justice Committee voted 3-2 in favor of the bill. If it continues to move forward, it would go into effect July 1, 2016.
The bill is identical to previous House Bill 4005, which was struck down twice in the House earlier this year.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 19 states had banned carrying a concealed weapon on campuses as of June 2015. Twenty-three states leave the decision up to the respective state university systems, and eight currently allow the carrying of concealed weapons on campus.
At UCF, current policies only allow those with proper permits to store their guns inside a locked vehicle on campus.
UCF Police Chief Richard Beary previously aired his concerns regarding HB 4005 in an interview with the Central Florida Future.
"If you can get a concealed weapons permit in the state of Florida by going and sitting through a one-hour class at a gun show and never have to demonstrate that you can safely use your gun, I'm telling you, you are a bigger threat to our students than you are a help," said Beary, who is also a trained firearms instructor.
Additionally, UCF's chapter of the United Faculty of Florida adopted a resolution in opposition to the bill in March.
Danielle Hendrix is a News Editor for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @ByDaniHendrix or email her at DanielleH@CentralFloridaFuture.com.