Florida lawmaker tries again to allow concealed weapons on college campuses


  • Photo via Florida House of Representatives
A long-debated proposal that would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to carry handguns on Florida college and university campuses was filed Thursday for consideration during the 2020 legislative session.

Rep. Anthony Sabatini, R-Howey-in-the-Hills, filed the “campus carry” proposal (HB 6001) after years of unsuccessful attempts by gun-rights supporters to pass such a measure. The proposals in the past have been opposed by higher-education leaders such as Florida State University President John Thrasher, a former House speaker and state senator.
If that name sounds familiar, in February, media outlets received photos of Sabatini wearing blackface, prompting several lawmakers to call for his resignation. Then another photo surfaced of Sabatini in brownface, wearing a stereotypical "Mexican" costume. Sabatini occasionally responds with "MAGA" to social media posts about him and the president, in particular one to a reporter who had been assaulted at a Trump rally.

Sabatini proposed a similar campus carry measure during the 2019 session, but it was not heard in House committees and did not pick up a Senate version. As of July 31, Florida had more than 2 million people with concealed-weapons licenses. The 2020 legislative session starts in January.

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