Florida State University football fans are now allowed to bring their guns to Doak Campbell Stadium as long as they have a concealed weapons permit and they keep the firearms locked in their cars, the school announced Wednesday, a day after being sued over a policy that bans guns on campus.
However, Florida Carry, Inc., the group suing Florida State, says any gun owners – permitted or not – should be allowed to lock their guns in their vehicle on campus, whether they are there for football games, classes or just visiting.
The school says it still does not allow guns on campus, but began making an exception for people who have a concealed weapons permit and who lock their guns in their cars two years ago. The policy change came after Florida Carry won a lawsuit against the University of North Florida that overturned a policy banning guns locked in cars. Florida State said it has updated its website with game day policies to address the group’s lawsuit.
"At no time while the out-of-date web site language existed was any individual cited for having a firearm or weapon legally secured in a vehicle," the school said in an email to media.
In Wednesday’s update of the game day guide, Florida State removed a section about weapons regarding parking, according to the Florida Times-Union. The guide noted that items must be “securely encased in the vehicle,” the newspaper reported.
Florida State has a home game against the University of South Florida on Saturday.
The school also said it will continue to oppose legislative efforts to allow concealed weapons permit holders to bring guns on school grounds.
"While we fully intend to continue complying with Florida law, I nevertheless reiterate my strenuous opposition to the recent initiatives to permit the carrying of guns on university campuses. I do not believe that arming students increases campus safety," President John Thrasher said in an email.
Florida Carry executive director Sean Caranna said he plans to follow through with the lawsuit, saying the university's statement doesn't address student codes and because legal gun owners without permits should also be able to keep guns locked in cars.
"This is wholly insufficient," Caranna said. "Their attorneys I'm sure are very good, but they are not experts in firearms law."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.