“I have no reservations about pushing the bill; we are one of four states that doesn’t have open-carry. It’s the right thing to do,” said Evers, a Republican from Baker in Northwest Florida. “The only way to stop a perpetrator is with equal force.” #

The National Rifle Association has thrown its powerful lobbying support behind the measures, could mean the bills will likely face little resistance from a legislature that seems sympathetic to Second Amendment. Gov. Rick Scott also supported the measure during his campaign, and a spokesman recently noted that the massacre in Tucson has not changed his position. #

“The gun lobby has a stranglehold on Tallahassee,” said Rep. Ari Porth, a Fort Lauderdale Democrat and career prosecutor. “I ran for office to keep the public safe, and what we do in the Florida Legislature with guns isn’t good for public safety.” #

Several police chiefs from universities around the state have questioned the logic of allowing students to carry weapons on campus. Utah is currently the only state in the country without a gun ban on college campuses. Florida State University Chief of Police David Perry told the school newspaper: #

“From the perspective of a campus law enforcement administrator, I have to stand opposed to any legislation that would bring weapons to campus for those other than law enforcement,” Perry said. #

In an interview with the Herald, Perry added: #

“You have young people still learning how to be adults, and unfortunately alcohol and drugs are part of that equation on campus,” Perry said. “This is a place of learning and nurturing and you shouldn’t be put in a position where you feel intimidated by someone walking around with a gun.” #

Physicians are also raising concerns that their First Amendment rights will be violated should they be legally bound to not solicit information about firearms in the homes of their patients, a common inquiry doctors use to stress child safety, alongside questions about swimming pools. #

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