A bill to allow weapons on college campuses is one big step closer to becoming law.

Monday, the Senate Higher Education Committee approved it in a party-line vote - Republicans for it, Democrats against.

The bill would let anybody with a concealed weapon permit carry a gun at any of Florida's public universities - right now, that's illegal.

Backers say if gun-toting students and faculty had been in Florida State's main library last fall, they might have been able to take down the gunman behind that horrific shooting.

But the hearing was packed with public safety advocates who warn the very idea of guns on campus could lead to more violence - not less.

“The plain truth is campuses are not safe,” said Marion Hammer, with United Sportsmen of Florida. “They are gun-free zones where murderers and rapists may commit their crimes without fear of being harmed by their victims.”

Under Florida law, you have to be at least 21 to get a concealed weapon permit. That means not every student would be allowed to carry a gun.

But opponents are questioning whether even a 21-year-old is mature enough to walk around campus armed.