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Baxley Challenges Gun-Free Zones in Proposal

Associated Press

Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, has filed a bill which would allow more guns in public places. The measure is part of a broader push by Republican legislators to expand gun rights.

Baxley's proposal, SB 908,  would allow permit holders to carry their firearms into seaports, courthouses and police stations. Baxley says he wants to empower “law-abiding citizens" to defend themselves in dangerous situations.

“I generally am challenging the whole idea of gun-free zones. There are actually no such things," Baxley says. "They are simply atmospheres where those who would perpetrate violence are armed, but law-abiding citizens, because of all the restrictions, are not.”

Baxley has a long history of supporting gun rights. In 2005,  he co-sponsored the controversial NRA-backed "Stand Your Ground" law, which gives Floridians more leeway to use deadly force in self-defense.

Baxley says he wants to test the Legislature’s appetite for a wide-ranging gun debate. His bill coincides with Sen. Greg Steube’s effort to allowconcealed weapons in airport terminals as well as university and college campuses.