A Florida appeals court ruled on Tuesday that state universities do not have the power to ban law-abiding gun owners from keeping loaded firearms in their vehicles while on campus.
In a 12-3 decision, the District Court of Appeal for the First District in Tallahassee overturned the university’s policy banning guns in parking lots, siding with Alexandria Lainez, a member of Florida Carry Inc. and business student at the University of North Florida, who sued to have the ban repealed in October 2011.
Lainez challenged the ban on the basis that Florida has preemption laws that prevent cities, towns and other entities, including state universities and colleges, from regulating the possession of firearms.
“The Legislature has declared all regulation of firearms to be preempted by the Legislature,” the complaint stated, “and has determined that students should be allowed to possess and/or store firearms in private automobiles on university campuses, and that there is no need for additional regulation of firearms by UNF.”
Eric Friday, the attorney representing Lainez and Florida Carry Inc., told The Associated Press that the court had correctly reviewed “the facts of this case” and came to the right conclusion.
“The university does not have the right to pass rules and regulations about who may have firearms,” Friday said.