When students show up for classes Monday at USF, odds are they'll see a few empty gun holsters. Some students are wearing them for a national protest making the rounds this week.
"I think that my second amendment should not end between the boundaries of Fowler, Fletcher, 50th and Bruce B. Downs," student Emily Schwab said.
Several USF students will be participating in the national "Empty Holster Protest."
That's a week-long demonstration aimed at ending the statewide ban on concealed firearms at colleges and universities.
Participants say carrying a concealed weapon on campus is a no brainer.
"I don't feel like my right to self-protection and self-defense should be inhibited in any way," Schwab said.
"I don't think that mace or keys in the fingers can really stop someone who has the intention of raping or killing or harassing or anything a student on campus," she continued.
The week-long protest will not be a sign waving, slogan chanting affair. Students participating will simply wear an empty gun holster and hand out literature to anyone who's interested.
Participants know their cause probably won't be a popular one on campus and expect a little opposition.
"Some name calling might be the worst that it gets, I don't expect anything physical to happen," Brad Searles said.
A Facebook page for the USF Students for a Gun Free Campus is already urging others to join in their opposition to concealed weapons on campus – in light of "Empty Holster Week."
But that's OK for those planning on holstering their views this week.
"That's not a bad thing – if people talk to us about it – because we want the conversation to be started," Searles said.
"Having that conversation I think can only lead to positive outcomes," he continued.
Student reps met with the university to inform them of their protest. They didn't want to alarm anyone when they see the holsters, thinking they're actually carrying a gun.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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