Campus Carry Bills on the Move in Florida, Michigan

campus carry
AP/The Tulsa World/James Gibbard

Republican lawmakers in Florida and Michigan are currently pushing legislation to make it legal for concealed pistol license (CPL) holders to carry guns on college and university campuses for self-defense.

In Michigan the effort for campus carry has coalesced behind SB 442, sponsored by senator Mike Green (R-Mayville). The bill has 13 co-sponsors—Republican all—and has already passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and is headed to the entire Senate for a vote.

The Detroit Free Press reports that open carry of firearms on university campuses is already legal in Michigan, and senator Green is using that fact to his benefit as he fights to legalize concealed campus carry. He said educators who oppose the campus carry bill “have to accept that under the U.S. Constitution, law-abiding citizens with CPLs now have the right to carry guns into schools, as long as they are not concealed.” In light of this, he said he is actually “attempting to do [bill opponents] a favor” by legalizing concealment to keep the guns out of sight.

Green said, “We as gun owners have every right in the world to carry in gun-free zones. Are we going to give that up? We’re trying to step back and say, ‘We’ll cover them up, if you guys are willing.'”

In Florida, HB 4001/SB 68, sponsored by representative Greg Steube (R-Sarasota) and senator Greg Evers (R-Baker), have also been passed through committees and have two more committee stops before going to the Senate floor for a full vote.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Florida State University student and rape victim Shayna Lopez-Rivas has been a key source of testimony in favor of the legislation. Lopez-Rivas said she recovered from her horrible rape “resolved to never be a victim again.” She added, “I will not be a sitting duck for a rapist or a shooter.”

The legislation to arm women like Lopez-Rivas is staunchly opposed by Moms Demand Action and Florida’s League of Women Voters (FLWV). Breitbart News previously reported that FLWV’s Patti Brigham said, “College campuses are safe places. Guns have no place there unless carried by police.”

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