Scott Plakon files bill that would allow guns on college campuses

Scott Plakon

Representative Scott Plakon is spearheading a new bill to remove a prohibition on guns on college campuses.

The bill, HB 6005, amends an earlier ruling on where guns are and are not allowed, deleting the portion stating that a license to concealed carry a firearm does not allow guns into “Any college or university facility unless the licensee is a registered student, employee, or faculty member of such college or university and the weapon is a stun gun or nonlethal electric weapon or device designed solely for defensive purposes and the weapon does not fire a dart or projectile.”

If the bill passes, guns will be much looser-regulated on college and university campuses.

Plakon sponsored a bill that would have done the same thing in 2015, which died on the calendar.

If it goes through, guns will still be banned from police and sheriff stations, jails, courthouses, polling places, schools and government meetings.

Plakon was initially not a supporter of guns-on-campus bills – initially, he was “ambivalent” about the issue. But an incident in 2013 at his daughter Jeanne‘s school, in which there was thought to be an active shooter on campus, spurred him to change his mind.

“I got a text message from my daughter Jeanne,” he said. “‘Daddy I’m so scared,’ is the way it started off. It was believed there was a shooter loose in Lake Mary High. It took me 13 mins to get there. No parent wants to be in this situation… to have their child on a campus with a shooter, with no way to protect, no one with a firearm anywhere near. I was parent with face against chain link fence, and she’s texting me, crying, scared, hunched under a desk.”

Fortunately, it turned out there was no shooter at Lake Mary High that day. But the incident forever changed Plakon’s view on guns on campuses.

“It seems that every one of these tragedies, these mass shootings, happens in a gun free zones,” he said. “Right now we have gigantic gun free zones on college campuses.”

He said he hadn’t talked to the NRA about the bill at all – this was strictly a personal endeavor for him.

“I’ve evolved on it,” he said. “It’s been an evolution over nine years for me.”

Now with Sen. Greg Steube in the Senate, Plakon feels he has a good chance of moving the bill further than last time. With Steube, he said, he likes his chances.

House Democratic Policy Chair Evan Jenne was strongly opposed to the bill, calling it “an attempt to rile up the Republican base at the expense of all Floridians,” and said the bill was against the known will of the majority of Floridians, from students to law enforcement to other regular citizens – no one wants guns on college campuses, Jenne said.

He brought up an anecdote of a girl shot by her roommates’ boyfriend by accident on a college campus in Tallahassee some years ago, which he said illustrated his point: guns on campus won’t make anything safer.

“It’s not going to protect anyone,” he said. “It’s just another power play to get guns everywhere. We believe that we’re joined by many other groups of people who want college to be a safe place to learn, and not worry whether the person behind you is packing heat. We’re not taking anyone’s guns away. We just want to make sure college campuses are safe places.”

Larry Griffin


  • Linda Duerden

    December 7, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    By all means just what schools need, weapons. If Florida continues we will have no tourism because Europeans aren’t going to go for that. Does this mean weapons will be welcome at Disney, Universal, Sea World? So you take your children out for a day at the park and some fool who has no idea how to handle a gun “accidentally ” shoots them? THS IS ABSOLUTE BS!!!!!!

    • Rich7553

      December 7, 2016 at 8:32 pm

      1987 – shall issue. “Tourism will suffer!” Didn’t.

      2005 – stand your ground. “Tourism will suffer!” Didn’t.

      2008 – parking lot law. “Tourism will suffer!” Didn’t.

      2011 – preemption penalties. “Tourism will suffer!” Didn’t.

      You folks really need some new material.

  • Rich7553

    December 7, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    “(House Democratic Policy Chair Evan Jenne) brought up an anecdote of a girl shot by her roommates’ boyfriend by accident on a college campus in Tallahassee some years ago, which he said illustrated his point: guns on campus won’t make anything safer.”

    The bill would simply remove the currect campus prohibition from licensed concealed carriers, who must be 21, and can only carry concealed handguns – no rifles.

    The incident cited –

    1. Occurred off campus at a privately owned frat house near FSU, not on-campus

    2. The weapon was a AK-74 rifle, not a handgun.

    3. The shooter was 20 years old, ineligible for a carry license.

    4. The rifle was being handled by an intoxicated person, a violation of FS 790.151.

    5. The shooter had the rifle in the frat house in violation of the lease agreement.

    So about the only commonality between the anecdote and the bill is the word “gun”. But I guess that is enough for some.

  • brian32765

    December 8, 2016 at 7:37 am

    The incident cited by Scott Plakon with his daughter took place at her HIGH SCHOOL! This bill is only for college campuses. Now that is republican logic for ya!

  • Average Citizen Jo

    December 9, 2016 at 1:57 am

    If guns made schools safer, we would hand out AK-45s to all middle school students. Guns on campus, even during a shooting, do not make students safer. The best example would be the Dallas Police shooting last summer, all 30 gun owners ran away and the police struggled to discern the good guys with a gun from the bad guy with a gun. Tell Plakon to give the money he gets for promoting this bill back to the NRA. He’s selling out college students for blood money.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704