USF Students Take Stand Against Florida’s Tightening Gun Laws With Empty Holster Protests

A handful of University of South Florida students are participating in the week-long Empty Holster Protests at campuses around the country. The students want to undo a state law that prevents anyone, including those permitted to carry concealed weapons, from bringing a gun on campus. Florida is one of 22 states that do not allow guns on college campuses.

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives citizens the right to bear arms. While one does have this constitutional right, one must remember that this right is subject to increasingly strict regulations by both the Federal and State government. In Florida, the state Department of Agriculture Division of Licensing issues licenses to carry concealed weapons or firearms to those who pass a background check and complete required training. imagesgunhostercampus.jpg

If one does not obtain a concealed carry permit in Jacksonville and attempts to conceal a firearm or other weapon, one is taking a big risk. In order to be properly convicted of carrying a concealed weapon under Florida Statute § 790.01, the State Attorney must prove beyond all reasonable doubt that:
-. One knowingly carried a concealed weapon on or about one’s person,
– The weapon was concealed from the ordinary sight of any other person
In many cases, if one obtains an experienced concealed carry crimes defense attorney, one’s attorney may be able to show that the weapon was not concealed from the ordinary sight of another, in other words, in plain view, or if the weapon was concealed, that one did not realize the weapon was concealed on one’s person or in a container that on or around one’s person.

Many of Jacksonville’s citizens and others visiting fall victim to this charge, as many are gun-friendly. This is not wrong. However, because Jacksonville is a popular tourist destination and commonly visited town for military members. It is not surprising, therefore, that many arrests occur at the Jacksonville International Airport (JIA) as well as near NAS Jax and Mayport bases, particularly when the driver of the car or passenger on about to get on the plane is in a rush, forgets the firearm under the seat of the car or in their luggage. Forgetfulness can lead to long-term grief if one does not obtain an experienced attorney.

Conflicting or dissimilar gun laws of other states can be problematic and may lead to one’s arrest if one does not have a license to carry a concealed weapon or if the license is not valid in Florida. Remember, if one is from another state and travels into Florida with a concealed weapon and subsequently arrested, one will be subject to Florida’s concealed carry laws. If one is from Florida and one travels outside of Florida with a gun or firearm, one is also subject to the weapon laws of that state.

Remember, even if one has obtained a concealed carry license for firearms or weapons, one may still be prevented from exercising concealed carry in certain areas, such as schools, hospitals, and courthouses. Furthermore, the permit is only valid in Florida, though certain other states

Florida Statute 790.06 currently prevents even concealed-weapons permit holders from taking a gun into “any college or university facility unless the licensee is a registered student, employee, or faculty member of such college or university and the weapon is a stun gun or nonlethal electric weapon or device designed solely for defensive purposes and the weapon does not fire a dart or projectile.”
Many times throughout Jacksonville, the accused is just someone who never knew they left their gun in the car, or never thought someone else might have put a gun in the car, and because of their lack of knowledge, they suffer at the hands of a powerful State operated legal system. Fortunately, if one obtains an experienced Jacksonville gun crimes defense attorney to fight the case and ensure one’s rights are protected, one can be sure that one will not be a victim in a fight one may not win on one’s own.


The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for years and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.

Additional Source: USF students protest on-campus gun ban, The Tampa Tribune