“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, which 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, common inquiry doctors use to stress child safety, alongside questions about swimming pools. #

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