Jan 15, 2014 04:04 PM EST
Gun Rights Group Sues University Of Florida Over Weapon Ban
A Florida gun rights group is suing rights group is accusing the University of Florida of violating both state and federal laws by banning students from keeping weapons in their dormitories, Reuters reported.
A month after winning a case against one of the state's 12 public universities over gun control policies, Florida Carry Inc. filed a lawsuit Friday against the University of Florida to force the school to allow firearms in dorm rooms and student apartments.
Last month, a state appeals court ruled in the group's favor when they struck down a policy at University of North Florida that barred the storage of weapons in cars. The court said the state legislature, which has slighted tight gun control policies, "ultimately holds the power to regulate guns, trumping local governments and universities," Reuters reported.
In response to the court ruling, public universities statewide, some begrudgingly, had started allowing students to keep guns in parked vehicles. The University of Florida changed its policy last week to comply with the state law.
However, in its latest lawsuit, Florida Carry said the university is not doing enough to comply with the state law and is pushing for the school to allow students to keep guns in their dorm room. The gun rights group believes dorm rooms "qualify as homes and second amendment protection," Reuters reported.
"We were very concerned when we saw the University of Florida hadn't changed their policies so we contacted the university, told them we thought their response was insufficient given the order from the court of appeals and additional changes were necessary," Sean Caranna, executive director of Florida Carry, told Reuters. "They were very dismissive of that."
University of Florida spokeswoman Janine Sikes released a statement stating that the school is in fully complying with the state law.
"We believe we are in full compliance with that law requiring universities to allow individuals 18 years or older to store their guns securely in their cars on campus," she said.
She added that the university was shocked to learn of the lawsuit the gun rights group new lawsuit.
"They didn't object to the steps we have taken to comply with the court's decision, and they never raised the issue of guns in the home, which was not the subject of the court's decision," Sikes said.
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