The Florida State Seminoles start each home game with their mascot Osceola racing across to midfield on his horse Renegade and sticking a flaming spear in the ground. In a figurative sense, that is just what gun rights organization Florida Carry did today when it filed suit against FSU, FSU President John Thrasher, and FSU police chief David Perry.
Before John Thrasher became President of Florida State University, he was a successful lawyer, politician, and lobbyist. He served in both the Florida House and Senate and was the chairman of the Florida GOP in 2010. When he was a state senator, Thrasher as noted below in the Florida Carry release told them that they should look to the courts rather than the legislature to correct unconstitutional infringements on the right to keep and bear arms in the Sunshine State. They are making him eat his words.
The lawsuit was filed in Leon County Circuit Court. They are seeking an injunction and declaratory relief stating that the defendants are violating Florida statutes. The complaint can be found here.
Tallahassee, Florida - In 2014 then Senator Thrasher admonished Florida Carry during a legislative committee hearing for supporting a pro-Second Amendment bill that corrected an unconstitutional infringement on the right to bear arms rather than going to the courts and bringing a lawsuit.
Today Florida Carry is taking his advice.
Florida Carry, Inc. joins FSU Graduate Student Bekah Hargrove of Florida Students for Concealed Carry in filing Florida Carry v. Thrasher today seeking an emergency injunction against John Thrasher, now President of Florida State University, the university, and FSU Police Chief David Perry.
In 2013 the Florida First District Court of Appeals made it crystal clear, in the case of Florida Carry v. UNF, that Universities have no authority to regulate the lawful possession of firearms that are properly stored in private vehicles on campus. Despite the fact that FSU, Chief Perry, and President Thrasher are well aware of the law and the binding decision of the court, they have chosen to continue illegally prohibiting the possession of firearms in people's private vehicles. They even go so far as to use their own police force to publicly threaten criminal enforcement of their unlawful regulations.
A recent release published by the FSU Police Department instructs that:
"Weapons and/or firearms are not permitted to be stored in a vehicle on the FSU campus at any time, including game days."(Emphasis in original)
The "FSU Game Day Plan 2015 - New Info" publication goes on to flout the laws of Florida by stating that:"Weapons are prohibited on the Florida State University Campus at all times including football games. Fan may not store firearms or other weapons in their vehicles parked on campus while attending the game. Possession of a firearm or weapon on the FSU campus constitutes a felony and violators are subject to arrest pursuant to Florida Statute 790.115."
https://dos.fsu.edu/srr/_localDocuments/student-conduct-code.pdf"It has a chilling effect on the right to bear arms when law abiding gun owners are lied to by public officials, especially ones who control their own Police Forces, and are told that they will be breaking a law by the legal possession of their firearms."Said Sean Caranna, Executive Director of Florida Carry, Inc."These publications are a blatant attempt by FSU President Thrasher, and his anti-Second Amendment employees, to enforce illegal gun control with the threat of throwing good people in jail for the lawful exercise of their right to bear arms. We demand that public officials follow the law and will stand for nothing less."