JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A new lawsuit accuses UNF of breaking the law. At issue, can people leave guns in their cars in college campus parking lots?
"We're concerned that students will either be subject to random searches in the cars, or students pulled over for speeding on campus will have their car searched and be arrested for carrying a firearm," said Eric Friday, the attorney filing the lawsuit on behalf of UNF student Alexandria Lainez and a group called Florida Carry, Inc.
The suit also names UNF President John Delaney. Delaney told First Coast News, "It's a technicality they're trying to get us on, and guns and college kids aren't a good mix."
As of Oct. 1, a new Florida law assigns fines to violators of the existing law, which basically states there should be uniformity of where you are allowed to carry a concealed weapon.
"UNF according to their student handbook claims that they are a school district and that they can apply an exception under the law as a school district even though school districts and universities are two distinctly different entities under the law," Friday said.
That's what is triggering this lawsuit: how each party is interpreting the law.
"Universities essentially after Virginia Tech were very restrictive with guns on campus," Delaney said.
Friday said there are two very different opinions and that is why his clients decided to file a lawsuit. "UNF and Florida Carry have a different opinion on whether an exception applies to them. They say it does. We say it doesn't, and we have to let a judge decide," he said.
Delaney said the other 10 colleges and universities in the state have the same policy as UNF. The current law uses the language, "postsecondary schools." Now it will be up to a judge to decide if UNF is exempt under that definition.
First Coast News