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Do You Feel Safer? Laws Allow Firearms in Public Places

Posted by Jane Akre
Thursday, July 17, 2008 1:18 AM EST
Category: On The Road, Major Medical, Protecting Your Family, In The Workplace
Tags: Firearms, Handguns, Handgun Injury, Head Injuries, Workplace Injuries, Second Amendment

Laws expanding the ability to carry weapons are now on the books and being hotly debated.



Image Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Glock 18 hand gun/ author: Whou/

smaller image: author: Clinton & Charles Robinson/ Glock 17


New and expanded laws regarding firearms mean that they may be closer than you think - like at the parking lot at Sea World in Orlando or inside Atlanta's Hartsfield Airport.

At Walt Disney World, employees will not be allowed to carry guns in their cars at company parking lots.

The entertainment giant will make the Orlando parking lots gun-free zones, despite a new state law that allows Floridians with a concealed weapons permit to keep a firearm locked in their car while they work.  The law took effect Tuesday.

Disney is not making any friends with backers of the law.  They say they’re surprised that Florida’s largest single-site employer of 60,000 is using an exemption.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” according to state Sen. Durell Peaden, one of the authors of the bill and a Republican from the Florida Panhandle tells the Orlando Sentinel.

But Disney has a long standing policy against guns on the 30,000 acre property. Agreeing with Disney is the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Retail Federation which filed a lawsuit to stop the guns-to-work law from going into effect.

Last spring, their opposition was trumped by the powerful National Rifle Association and the legislature approved the “Preservation and Protection of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in Motor Vehicles Act of 2008”.

The Orlando Sentinel obtained a memo from the Vice President of Public Affairs for Disney World saying that Disney “continues to maintain a zero tolerance policy” for guns.  Bringing one to work could be grounds for termination.

Many readers to this Disney web site also agree with the decision, including comments from gun owners.

The law allows an exemption for a defense contractor, or explosives manufacturer. And a last minute revision to the bill included an exemption for any property leased or owned by an employer who has a permit for explosives. 

Disney has a permit to use fireworks in its theme parks.  

Disney says under that definition all of the theme parks, resorts, cast member parking lots, administrative offices, sports complex, hotels, Celebration and Disney Reservation centers in Orlando and Tampa are exempt.  Not exempt are Disney Cruise Line’s crew parking lots and some other Disney properties in Florida.

And Universal is joining Disney in claiming an exemption. Not so at Sea World. The company believes in the rights of employees or visitors to transport legal firearms in their car, according to a spokeswoman.

Just to the north, a showdown over guns in public places in Atlanta is moving into the courts. The question is whether the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport should be a “gun-free zone” despite a new state law in Georgia that allows licensed gun owners to carry concealed weapons in public places.

Atlanta’s airport is the world’s busiest at 89 million passing through it ever year.  

Mayor Shirley Franklin told reporters that guns inside Hartsfield would “endanger millions of people” and that there is an exemption for areas with a “public gathering”.  She wants any airport receiving federal funding to be a “gun-free zone”.

City officials say they will arrest anyone carrying a gun inside the airport.

The pro-gun group GeorgiaCarry.org attended the news conference with the mayor this week and handed her a 10-page lawsuit on behalf of the organization.  Gun rights advocates say the law, which took effect July 1, upholds the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  

GeorgiaCarry.org has already sued courts in Georgia counties to allow people to carry firearms into state parks. The law also allows those who have passed a criminal background check to carry a concealed firearm into restaurants that serve alcohol.

On Monday, Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, who signed the legislation earlier this year,  supported guns in the nation’s busiest airport and says his wife might want to pack a gun to walk between the terminal and parking lot.   

“If my wife wanted to carry a gun, if she was going from the parking lot, walking from one of those far parking lots to pick up a grandchild or something like that, I think that's a good idea, yes," quotes the Las Vegas Sun.

An August 11th hearing has been set in U.S. District Court. GeorgiaCarry.org wants to obtain a restraining order to keep the airport from restricting guns. #


Posted by Albert Lowe
Thursday, July 17, 2008 5:25 AM EST

Well, generally speaking, I feel safer when I do carry, and I feel less safe, when I can't. I guess I won't be going to Disney Land/World anytime soon. The whole idea of LEGAL concealed carry is so that we can better protect ourselves against criminal attacks. While I'm sure the chance of being attacked at Disney would be minimal, you still can't plan ahead of time where you might become the next victim of a crime.

Anonymous User
Posted by Bob Ware
Thursday, July 17, 2008 10:34 AM EST

I definitely feel safer knowing that people that have undergone a background check, training, fingerprinting, etc. are all carrying LEGALLY. The most law abiding of our citizenry are not to be feared.
Only criminals, who ignore the laws anyway, should feel uncomfortable in the presence of legally carrying citizens.

Anonymous User
Posted by MLS
Thursday, July 17, 2008 8:29 PM EST

i don't understand why they want to make these places criminal empowerment zones where, only people who already don't obey the law,will be armed!!!

Anonymous User
Posted by David Null
Thursday, July 17, 2008 9:43 PM EST

I absolutely, positively feel safer in the knowledge that LEGALLY LICENSED gun carriers (law-abiding citizens who have undergone FBI, state, and local law enforcement background checks, a mental health questionnaire, been fingerprinted, and sworn in under oath by a probate judge) are privately able to arm themselves to defend their families against hardened outlaw criminals wuth deadly weapons to rape, rob, steal, kill and maim innocent men, women and children.

If you have a problem with that, then something must be wrong with your brain.

"But that's what the police are for" you say. Oh, REALLY? In most places the police have an average 911 response time of about eight minutes. SO WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO FOR RIGHT MINUTES WHILE YOU STAND AND WATCH YOUR FAMILY BEING ATTACKED?

It doesn't take any intellect at all to be in favor of this bill. But it takes a sub-human IQ to not understand that CRIMINALS DON'T CARE ABOUT OBEYING THE LAW. THAT'S WHAT MAKES THEM CRIMINALS.

Posted by Jack Burton
Thursday, July 17, 2008 10:28 PM EST

An Open Letter to Those Who Wonder Why Citizens Would Want to Carry Guns in Public


Anonymous User
Posted by ccw4me
Friday, July 18, 2008 12:29 AM EST

When it comes to guns at Disney I just follow our Department of Defense policy: "Don't ask. Don't tell."

Anonymous User
Posted by Andrew Frechtling
Friday, July 18, 2008 8:32 AM EST

As a retired Air Force fighter pilot with concealed carry permits that allow me to carry in over 30 states - why, yes, I do think "shall-issue" concealed carry laws make the US a safer place.

Criminals don't know who may be "packing" and have to adjust thir behavior accordingly...generally being less willing to directly confront someone who
might shoot back.

Professors James D. Wright and Peter Rossi surveyed 2,000 felons incarcerated in state prisons across the United States. Wright and Rossi reported that 34% of the felons said they personally had been "scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim"; 69% said that they knew at least one other criminal who had also; 34% said that when thinking about committing a crime they either "often" or "regularly" worried that they "[m]ight get shot at by the victim"; and 57% agreed with the statement, "Most criminals are more worried about meeting an armed victim than they are about running into the police." (James D. Wright & Peter H. Rossi, Armed and Considered Dangerous: A Survey of Felons and Their Firearms [1986].

Anonymous User
Posted by CSR
Friday, July 18, 2008 10:13 AM EST

News flash: guns are prevalent in most banned areas already - unfortunately, they're being caried by predatory criminals who count on their unarmed prey to not fight back. The FACT is that expanded carry laws result in less crime, as the predators can no longer count on defenseless prey.

Anonymous User
Posted by Uncle Lar
Friday, July 18, 2008 11:15 AM EST

I have held a ccw permit for 24 years. In that time I have shot no one, but the presence of my firearm has prevented me from being a victim at least five times that I am sure of, perhaps more so in that I cannot estimate how many times criminals may have simply chosen not to confront me because they suspected I might be armed.

Anonymous User
Posted by Kerry Morgan
Friday, July 18, 2008 12:52 PM EST

I feel safer when I carry my legaly licensed sidearm. It's not about feeling safer at Disney, Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, or any other place in piticular. It is about being able to fight back when no other option is availiable during your daily travels. Laws banning guns do not matter to those already predisposed to break the law.
Licensed individuals carrying handguns for thier own personal protection are not the individuals we, as a socity, need to worry about.

Anonymous User
Posted by Wendy Weinbaum
Friday, July 18, 2008 1:38 PM EST

As a Jewess in the US, I say it is high time that our Congress pass legislation recognizing any NRA membership card as a NATIONAL Concealed Carry permit! Let's take BACK our streets!

Anonymous User
Posted by Johnny
Friday, July 18, 2008 2:26 PM EST

Newsflash: This law is only about employees.... you morons at Disney cannot fire someone who doesn't work for you, and no laws would be broken for the CCW holder, the only thing you can do is ask them to leave. Like someone else said... "don't ask, don't tell".

Anonymous User
Posted by Santee
Friday, July 18, 2008 9:03 PM EST

Gun Free Zones are actually Criminal Empowerment Areas. The criminals know that they will meet no opposition when carrying out their crimes. A business or area that restricts the citizens right to self-defense should be completely liable for any criminal action on their property or area.

And your title is misleading, I do not FEEL safer, I AM safer, when citizens are allowed to carry firearms in any area. The facts speak for themselves, when concealed carry is allowed, violent crime decreases.

Comments for this article are closed.

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