Empty holster gun protest today at USF's Tampa campus

6:14 AM, Apr 8, 2013   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- Here in Tampa Bay, people are calling for the right to carry weapons on school campuses, while the country watches for a national gun control vote this week.

It's such an unusual sight, campus police have sent out a warning to the University of South Florida community.

It says don't panic Monday when you see protesters wearing holsters. They'll be strapped outside the protesters' clothes, but empty.

It's a symbolic way to call for students and staff to be allowed to carry concealed weapons on campus. Right now no one other than police can have firearms at USF.

This local protest is framed against a national vote that's supposed to happen this week.

President Obama will be in Connecticut on Monday. He's meeting with families of the Newtown shooting victims and rallying public support for a gun control bill.

Democrats are confident they can get a majority of Senators behind hit. But Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is leading a push to filibuster the bill and kill the vote.

White House Adviser Dan Pfeiffer pushed back Sunday on ABC's "This Week," saying, "Now that the cameras are off, and they're not forced to look the Newtown families in the face, now they want to make it harder, and filibuster it."

"If we have a simple up, or down vote, we can get this done."

So what happens now? Something we just never seem to talk about anymore. Compromise.

Follow 10 News Reporter Grayson Kamm on twitter @graysonkamm

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey are reportedly working together on a compromise. It would expand required background checks to include sales at gun shows and online.

Even some NRA supporters appear to be on board with that solution.

"If we can make sure that there's a comprehensive check and we keep criminals from obtaining guns, in that environment, then, those checks would seem appropriate," NRA School Shield Task Force Director Asa Hutchinson said on "Fox News Sunday."

The "open holster" protest is set for Monday on the main USF campus in Tampa. In their message about the event, police do include the reminder that if you see an actual gun on any college campus, you should call 911 immediately.

Grayson Kamm, 10 News

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