This is a win for second amendment supporters. Scott Jaschik of Inside Higher Ed has the story.

Gun Bans in Danger

A divided Florida appeals court ruled Tuesday that public colleges and universities — except in limited circumstances — lack the legal right to regulate gun possession on campus.

The ruling came in a case involving a rule at the University of North Florida banning students from keeping guns in their cars. But the appeals court went beyond that rule (which it rejected) to speak more generally to the right of public colleges and universities to limit gun possession on campus, as local news media indicated they do. Under Florida’s Constitution, the appeals court found, only the Legislature can make such restrictions, so most rules imposed by public colleges and universities would be invalid.

The university had argued that a specific exemption in Florida law giving school districts the right to regulate guns in their facilities applied to public universities as well. The appeals court rejected that argument, saying that lawmakers specify different types of educational institutions in their regulations, so that references to school districts cannot be assumed to go beyond elementary and secondary education.

The dissent to the ruling said that that the appeals court’s ruling leaves public universities “powerless” to deal with guns on campus and that the decision “defies common sense.”

The ruling in the case was 12-3 (with several concurring opinions) and could be appealed to the Florida Supreme Court, but university officials have not indicated whether they will do so.

The lawsuit was filed by Alexandria Lainez, a student at North Florida who wanted to bring a gun to campus and leave it in her car, along with Florida Carry, a gun rights group. A district judge threw the case out, accepting the university’s argument that it was acting within its rights.