University of Florida Doesn’t Like Gun Blogs

A reader who has recently been discharged from the Marines and is looking for a college to study at visited the University of Florida (UF) to have a look at the campus. While there he logged onto the wifi network and found TFB and were blocked (see screenshot above).

Occasionally I hear of hotel chains and large companies block access to TFB on their networks, but this is the first time I have heard of TFB be censored from a state college. Surely their goal is to discover and share knowledge, not suppress it …

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Lance

    Find a way to burn past there firewall Steve this is free speech and tell those anti gun fascist to take a leap.

  • Big Daddy

    If it’s legal there’s nothing to say. There is also the alternative which would be to go to another college. You will always have both sides of a coin, those who will fight the good fight and those who are misguided and don’t. Although one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. This blog is about knowledge and for any entity to block it is not fighting the good fight, it’s giving in to irrational actions based on emotional overreactions.

    • claymore

      Or use a proxy service to get around the block and screw “their” policy.

      • UFStudent

        You can’t use proxies on the UF network.

        • Joe

          Umm…sure you can!! You just have to be smart enough to know how!!

    • Matt

      I would think that UF being a public school then them censoring certain content would be illegal.

  • flyingburgers

    This is against the concept of academic freedom, which basically says you are allowed to research and advocate anything you want, i.e. an extension of free speech. At one major state school I went to, the policy explicitly said you were allowed to view porn in the library, and there was a procedure to get screen shields so that nobody could object. Schools also have explicit rules against monitoring or recording Internet usage, somewhat traceable to Vietnam-era unrest.

    The vast majority of schools are good about following this, even religious schools (one major Utah religious school is a notable exception). The right way to handle something like this is to bring it to the attention of the librarian, campus ombuds, and the academic senate committee in charge of academic freedom.

    I suspect that this is a case of the campus IT department overstepping their bounds. I see it as a bad sign that the administrators are not on top of issues like this.

    • mp

      It’s likely due to default block-lists for certain proxies including this site.

      • robotprom

        It’s likely due to a shitty IT department.

  • Eric S

    As a state college, blocking web pages tend to be a big no no. Unless it was reported that a particular website had malicious code. Time to contact the school IT dept and hit them up. Course back in school most of the IT was Comp Sci students, so there may be a authoritarian among them, but that’s unlikely. And if all else fails, there is TOR.

  • floppyscience

    “Surely their goal is to discover and share knowledge, not suppress it …”

    Select knowledge, Steve. Universities are just as politically driven as any other major organizations, if not more so.

  • Geoff a well known Skeptic

    I wonder about Florida State University in Tallahassee where the ROTC Colors have a battle streamer “Natural Bridge 1865” of course both Universities follow the same standards. Geoff Who is a curious fellow.

    • Joe

      I just graduated from FSU and I could access TFB and a slew of other gun sites just fine.

      • RocketScientist

        GO NOLES!

  • Nicholas Mew

    Not surprising.

  • JT

    say FU to UF

  • It’s just category web filter – all gun sites should be blocked, if some are not, then there something wrong with their categorisation. It’s Palo Alto Networks NGFW (Firewall). As I remember, gun, sex, violence sites are blocked by default in those devices if you just switch on webfiltering. So, it’s possible that it is not by purpose, they just switch it on without checking what it does.

    • gunslinger

      Hit up the IT department.

      i know some places have the broad category ban, and specific sites/domains can be unlocked.

      but seeing this as a public, state university, this should not be.

      • John Simmons

        As a test, try going to a gun control blog and see what happens…

        • PARAMEDIC70002

          Yep. I’ve seen more than one “gun filter” block all my favorite surf sites but mysteriously allow anti-gun access. And while we’re on the topic, what purpose does it serve to block someone from reading about guns in a geographically limited area?

  • Ian

    It’s a shame that a private network is allowed to block websites. How dare they!

    • RocketScientist

      How is the University of Florida network private? The hardware that operates it is bought with tax dollars. The people that administer it are paid their wages with tax dollars. The institution the network exists to serve is a public institution funded by tax dollars, and supposedly dedicated to the free exchange of information and open discussion of ideas

      • Ian

        Perhaps you don’t know what the difference between a private and public network are.

        • RocketScientist

          I understand the difference between private and public networks. I did not realize you meant ‘private’ in the sense of the IP Address Space used, but instead thought it was used in regards to private vs. public institutions. I read your post as a sarcastic comment, suggesting that if the school wanted to limit access to certain sites, that was their right as a private institution. If instead you were honestly expressing outrage at a publicly-funded state school limiting access to firearms-related sites, and lamenting the structures/network architecture which enable this type of filtering, then I apologize for the confusion.

  • Matt Ware

    Strange. In my time at Iowa State, there was not a single website that was filtered.

  • French guy.

    It’s the same thing for any french company/university subscribing to a paying filter : gun related websites are treated as porn ones.

  • Mystick

    A private university doing this is one thing, but a state-funded, public school must function under the same rules as the state itself, which falls under the US Constitution under the 14th Amendment with regards to Freedom of Speech and Expression defined in the 1st Amendment.

  • gunslinger

    use The Onion Router (TOR) [or any proxy server] it’s how i get past firewalls. pretty easy to use.

  • smartacus

    anit-2A = anti-13A

  • Tenacious221

    Institute of higher learning and education right?

    Free and open exchange of ideas right?

    Find yourself, build your opinions, become the person you want to be the rest of your life right?

    College is great.

  • Kai

    That’s weird, I went to college in Illinois (not the most gun friendly state) and I discovered this blog in my dorm room in 2009

  • michael

    I’m not sure it’s legal to block legal enterprises on a state funded server. At least in NJ it’s not….

  • orangeblue

    UF’s wifi networks require a UF email to login; if you aren’t a student or faculty, you won’t be able to use most of the networks. This is probably a broad content filter for the “public access” hotspots. The logged-in network didn’t have any content filter when I finished up my last degree in May 2012.

  • shenji

    Heard Muricans has Cons-dee-deu-shon.
    Me knows this must be capitalism propaganda.
    — A humble chinaman

  • MetalZeroNine

    Use TOR and laugh away

  • Gator197

    Typing from the UF network right now and both sites seem to work fine today. If a prospective student is visiting, it is more likely that their UF ID is not correctly set up for internet access.

  • Piobaireachd

    Not unusual. I’m a network guy for County government. We block much of this stuff too.

  • Matt

    As long as the knowledge one wants to share is in line with their agenda…..

  • Michael Porter

    As stated in other comments this is on a guest network. At UF there is any number of networks on wifi. “uf” is the catch all that your average student uses. “ufvisitor” is the one a guest would use. If this prospective student hasn’t applied he doesn’t have the logins to use the normal UF network and is going through the guest one which not surprisingly heavily filtered.

  • gabriel_a_libertarian

    I never had any trouble accessing from the Gainesville Campus.

  • Laserbait

    I use the TOR browser package to get around stupidity like that.

  • Posting_from_UFs_network

    This is a bullcrap “news” story. A guess does not have access to Gatornet. I’ve posted thousands of comments on arfcom with my valid Gatorlink ID. Whatever network he connected to, it wasnt UFs. UF isnt filtering anything. Try verifying your info before you post it.

    • gunslinger

      wait was this someone on a “guest” network of UF? if so i can see that portion having filters and blocks. ‘Hey, you want on my private network for free? you play by my rules’ i find that different than this being the network that paying students have access to.

  • PatrickPM

    I went to school in the connecticut and I have been connected to wifi at various other schools around new england and I have never run into this issue

  • Bert Reynolds

    No matter, UF’s a party school anyway, nothing serious happens there. Guy should go look at a real university, no offense to UF alums.