FORT MYERS, Fla.- On the heels of two college campus shootings in one week, universities in Florida have to make their gun policies more lenient or face legal action.
Florida Gulf Coast University is the latest college in the state to officially allow guns on campus, if the guns are stowed away in cars.
The university's Board of Trustees voted unanimously for the policy change following an appeals court ruling in favor of a gun rights advocacy group, Florida Carry, sued the University of North Florida over its ban on guns in cars. Every public university in Florida now has to allow guns to be kept in vehicles on campus.
"Do we prefer not to have any guns on campus? That's preferable," said FGCU Police Chief Steven Moore, who still understands the court's decision. "The pros to this is those that legally are carrying the gun in their car -- be it they have it properly secured in their car or they have a concealed weapons permit -- this gives them the ability to now legally secure their gun in their car while they are here on campus."
While Moore has not taken a hard stance for or against the policy change, many students have.
"It's a gun! It can kill people," said Ashton Robinson, a student at FGCU. "I'd rather (people) leave it at home."
"It's an American right to have your gun," said Jordan Taylor, another student. "I think you should be able to have it in your car."
University policy still bans guns outside of the car, but campus gun policies in Florida might become even more lax in the future. Florida Carry recently sued the University of Florida in dispute of its ban on guns in dorm rooms.
Moore said FGCU would adamantly oppose allowing guns in on-campus housing.
Edison State College has not changed its gun policy yet to match the new precedent, but a campus spokesperson told WINK News that the school is taking the proper steps to do so.