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Old August 3, 2010, 10:37 AM   #1
spacecoast
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Concealed Car Carry question - driving through a college campus

Florida prohibits concealed carry (handgun) on college campuses (and all other schools for that matter). My question is:

Going to work every day I drive on a public street/road that happens to go through the middle of a college campus. It's not a campus-only street, at either end it goes through residential neighborhoods where concealed and in-car carry is clearly legal.

If I carry a concealed handgun in the car while driving on that street, am I in violation of the law? Is that street considered school property? What if I'm pulled over by an officer into the college parking lot for a traffic violation and am temporarily stopped on school property?

I realize that what I will get here are your opinions only, so a disclaimer is not necessary...

Last edited by spacecoast; August 3, 2010 at 10:47 AM.
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Old August 3, 2010, 11:45 AM   #2
booker_t
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Call the local and Florida State Police for a definitive answer. Even better, email the barracks CO and get it in writing, keep a copy in the car. I'd be interested to hear what they say.

I would imagine that if you are passing through on a public road you are legal. It's a good question though, and I could see a local or campus police officer not knowing the specific law, making an assumption and holding your firearm just in case, should it ever come up. Having a printout as stated above would help clarify the situation, and show the officer that you've done your due dilligence.

In a former life I was a very active sports photographer, and would frequently travel outside of the country to cover various events. I maintained a current copy of applicable laws and policies (both govt and airline specific) in each bag of photograhy equipment, in such a way that it was on top when the case was opened. My thought process here was that if an inspector or customs agent were to inspect the contents, they would know upon opening the case that I was aware of the laws and if they're looking to play games, do it with somebody else. I never had an issue, and my bags were frequently inspected due to the nature of their contents.

Some time ago I moved to a new town which had several locations where one-way roads intersected with a traffic light. It was legal to make a left turn on red from a one-way to another one-way. I did this one evening, just after a state trooper went through the green light on the cross street. As I went through the next light, he pulled out of the turning lane to follow me. About 200 yards later I was at my destination, parked on the street and started to get out of the car. The trooper pulled in behind me and as I was closing my car door, he flipped his lights on, got out, and yelled "Get back in the car!" I complied, he came up and asked for license/registration, asked if I had anything to drink that night. I hadn't, told him so, asked why I was being "stopped" on the street, and he said I turned on a red light. I said "Yes I did, it was a legal turn." I explained to him that it was from a one-way to a one-way, he said he had never heard of that before. I said "I'm sorry to hear that." He went back to his car, 5min later gave me my paperwork and left in a huff. I emailed the local state police barracks asking about the legality of that turn, got a response saying it was legal, and forwarded it to the officer's email address. Never got a response. I keep a print out of that email in the glove box along with other paperwork now. About a year later I was chatting with a 911 dispatcher in the area who knows that particular trooper personally, apparently he's a stand-up guy, just didn't know that specific law.

Last edited by booker_t; August 3, 2010 at 11:57 AM.
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Old August 3, 2010, 11:51 AM   #3
aarondhgraham
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Have the same situation here at OSU,,,

The street however is a public road,,,
Paid for and maintained by City funding.

It cuts through campus,,,
It is not a part of the campus.

I do know that if you have a firearm in your automobile,,,
Or are carrying with a valid concealed license,,,
You can drive onto a High School campus,,,
To drop off or pick up your kids,,,
That's perfectly legal.

You just can't stop and exit the vehicle,,,
This was brought up at a PTA meeting here in Stillwater, OK,,,
The information came from the Uniformed Community Services Officer.

.
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Old August 3, 2010, 03:55 PM   #4
spacecoast
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Got an answer already

I sent an email to the police department and received a very quick reply from the interim chief of police:

XXXXXX Blv and YYYYYY Rd are public streets and are not considered school property. A stop initiated for a violation on one of these streets should not result in an investigation for possession on school property.

It never hurts to ask!
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Old August 3, 2010, 05:56 PM   #5
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I know this does not pertain to OP, but I'd like to give an opposing scenario.

Here in MI, our State Constitution gives special powers to four universities, one being the one I am attending: the University of Michigan. One of the powers is give is a special legislative power of ordinance creation and enforcement separate from a normal municipality. UM bans all guns on any land owned by the university. If anyone has seen a map of Ann Arbor, you know the sprawl that is UM. The kicker is that UM has its own police force, prosecution team, and jail, and can jail you for illegally carrying a firearm if you are caught. Some who know MI law will cite the preemption clause that says that State law overrules all municipalities, but the Supreme Court has ruled that because of the university's special consideration in the Constitution that it is not bound by preemption. Even on public streets.
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Old August 3, 2010, 06:15 PM   #6
Don P
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Spacecoast, Federal law 18 USC 922(q) and Florida law F.S. 790.115.
I will suggest to you that you purchase the following book,
Florida Firearms law, Use & Ownership
Sixth edition-2006
By:Jon H. Gutmacher, Esq. web site is www.floridafirearmslaw.com.
It will be extremely usefull to you being you are a Florida resident
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Old August 3, 2010, 06:18 PM   #7
BillCA
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Yup... and if, for some reason, when making the stop, you are directed to pull into school campus property (i.e. a parking lot), it'll be difficult for them to make a case for possession on school grounds. Since the officer directed you to the location and most VC's require that you obey reasonable orders from police, they created the situation, not you.

You did right by contacting the local PD. Now contact the college police chief and inquire. Like MI, other states may grant University Police forces the ability to enforce traffic regulations on streets within their campus boundaries. UPD forces may, however, interpret that as being "within" the confines of the campus and therefore illegal. If you get this interpretation from a UPD chief or the campus legal counsel, it's time to question the DA and a good attorney on the matter.
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Old August 3, 2010, 08:23 PM   #8
RETG
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Been years since I was in and out of Ann Arbor MI, and to be honest, never worried about having my weapon on me when driving anywhere in the city. However, doesn't business Interstate I-94 go right through the campus, and I believe I was on State streen as it went right through the campus. (Just checked on Mapquest, and it appears they do.)

I would suggest writing the UM police and ask them. If you have a license to carry and you drive, non-stop, through the campus on the business loop or State street, are you violating the laws. In fact, don't write the police, they probably are not sure; write the DA.
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Old August 3, 2010, 08:44 PM   #9
spacecoast
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Well, being a loyal Buckeye, I wouldn't be surprised at anything those nuts in Ann Arbor declare!


Quote:
Spacecoast, Federal law 18 USC 922(q) and Florida law F.S. 790.115.
I will suggest to you that you purchase the following book,
Florida Firearms law, Use & Ownership
Sixth edition-2006
By:Jon H. Gutmacher
I have seen this book, however I don't think it would answer the specific question I had for this particular campus configuration and jurisdiction.
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Old August 3, 2010, 08:53 PM   #10
Sefner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RETG
Been years since I was in and out of Ann Arbor MI, and to be honest, never worried about having my weapon on me when driving anywhere in the city. However, doesn't business Interstate I-94 go right through the campus, and I believe I was on State streen as it went right through the campus. (Just checked on Mapquest, and it appears they do.)
I94 is just south of campus. Here is a map of the Reagent's land ownerships as of Jan. 2009:

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Old August 4, 2010, 12:02 PM   #11
Don P
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Quote:
I have seen this book, however I don't think it would answer the specific question I had for this particular campus configuration and jurisdiction.
Quote:
If I carry a concealed handgun in the car while driving on that street, am I in violation of the law? Is that street considered school property? What if I'm pulled over by an officer into the college parking lot for a traffic violation and am temporarily stopped on school property?
But you will ask for advice on the INTERNET and a gun forum?
I would trust the book more than any local or state LEO.
By the way the book does cover it. His specialty is firearm law.
But what do I know?
Our elected state officials had screwed up originally when the CCW laws were put in effect. The old laws had us in violation if we drove past or walked in front of a school while CCW. They had to go back and amend the statute.
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Old August 4, 2010, 12:10 PM   #12
spacecoast
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Quote:
But you will ask for advice on the INTERNET and a gun forum?
... after which an early respondent advised me to contact the local police (who know the school, the streets in question, and patrol the area) which I did, and received a prompt response.

Quote:
I would trust the book more than any local or state LEO.
As far as trusting the LEO vs. a book, why wouldn't I trust the chief of the department which could possibly stop me in that area? Am I going to do better pulling out a copy of a book, or a copy of an email from the chief?

Any more questions?
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Old August 4, 2010, 02:17 PM   #13
Don P
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Quote:
As far as trusting the LEO vs. a book, why wouldn't I trust the chief of the department which could possibly stop me in that area? Am I going to do better pulling out a copy of a book, or a copy of an email from the chief?

Any more questions?
I would rather have the book as most LEO are not well versed in firearm law. I'll let it go at that before the Admin slaps me hand.
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Old August 4, 2010, 05:51 PM   #14
booker_t
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I think the message here is to do your due diligence.. consult multiple credible sources and get all the facts to support a valid, actionable conclusion. That applies to most things in life.
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Old August 4, 2010, 06:31 PM   #15
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Too often the answer to such questions is not a matter of right or wrong. It often comes down to what the local prosecutor wants to do. In a proper, non biased, court the decision would sway on intent. It is inherent in our judicial system that intent to commit a crime must be shown. However, many laws, prosecutors and judges do not take that into consideration.
My suggestion is to stay low and carry on.
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Old August 4, 2010, 07:06 PM   #16
RETG
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State street goes through the campus. Did you write the DA? I'm curious, even if it will never affect me.
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