Lee’s note: This just in from my colleague Zac Anderson, who’s covering the story live in Tallahassee.
Campus carry gun bill won’t get Senate hearing, likely dead for session
The decision by Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami, not to schedule a hearing on legislation sponsored by Sarasota Republican Rep. Greg Steube that would allow concealed weapons on college campuses means the bill likely is dead for the 2016 session.
Diaz de la Portilla chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, the next stop for the campus carry bill and another bill that would do away with concealed carry all together and allow weapons to be openly displayed in public.
“We’re not going to hear campus carry,” said Diaz de la Portilla, adding: “I think there are better ways to address the issue of campus safety and security. I think the dangers outweigh the potential and perceived benefits of passing a bill.”
The senator also implied that that the open carry bill is unlikely to advance in its current form, saying he plans to schedule a hearing on the legislation in two weeks but expects it to be amended.
“I’m not saying I support guns publicly displayed,” he said. “I think the main reason is that I think there are going to be some good amendments coming forward on that one.”
Diaz de la Portilla said an amendment proposed by the Florida Sheriffs Association that would keep concealed carry in place but make it clear that accidentally displaying a weapon in public is not a crime “sounds like a reasonable compromise.”
The amendment is staunchly opposed by the National Rifle Association.