Disney World tries to get out of Florida gun law

July 2, 2008, 5:17 PM · Interesting story out of Central Florida, where Disney is trying to get out of a new Florida law that allows employees to bring guns to work.

The law doesn't allow employees to pack while working; they have to keep guns locked in their cars. The law exempts certain businesses though, including ones that keep explosives on the premises, such as... fireworks.

That's the loophole Disney's playing, according to the article linked above.

I'm not a gun fan, but I can't get too worked up about guns locked in employees' cars. Especially when employees park in lots removed from the workplace, and have to go through a security check-point to get from that lot into their workplace (as Disney theme park employees have to do). Still, I think it's a stupid law, one that will enable more people to pack guns in their cars and that likely will result in more road-rage killings in the state.

But the whiz kids in the Florida legislature passed it and now it's law. Not that Disney's ever gotten creative to get around Florida laws before. *cough* ReedyCreekImprovementDistrict *cough*

I suppose that I've merely created the opportunity for a flame war over guns now, but, hey, the single-digit comment counts over the past couple posts have been getting me down anyway. Is Disney right? Or the NRA? Fire away (pun sort of intended) in the comments....

Replies (18)

July 2, 2008 at 7:09 PM · i would have to agree with you that it is a very stupid law- smart thinking for Disney to get out of it, since it is a more family oriented place
July 2, 2008 at 6:52 PM · It's a smart move on many levels. The company wants to advertise itself as a family-oriented experience, and the press from this incident ensures potential customers that the company is level-minded.

Good move, Disney (unless Pixar's next venture is entitled 'Guns').

July 2, 2008 at 6:54 PM · This is definitely a stupid law. First, employees at Disney definitely don't need guns. Second, road rage is too frequent that we don't need to have people getting shot at on the roads.

If the 2nd amendment read "The Right to Bear Arms for all non-colored men" this Amendment would be changed in a heart beat since it would be both sexist and racist. Women couldn't vote in the past, so why is it a right to own a gun? Is it okay to own a nuclear bomb? Why would anyone need to own a fifty caliber gun? The sole purpose of a gun is to damage or kill an object or person. Sure, they should only be used for self defense, but who in their right mind actually has guns loaded with kids around? And how quickly can someone actually use a gun to protect against a car jacking or in their house? And how often does their own gun get used against them in a robbery?

The only way to completely get rid of guns would be to change culture, and us Americans are too proud and too much into being the biggest and baddest country in the world. Look at SUV's, Shopping Malls, and the belief that the US is better than any other country. Don't get me wrong, I love living in the US, but I've opened up my eyes by visiting other countries, and almost every country has things that are great about them. And there are a lot of countries that have law enforcement that don't carry guns. And there are a lot of countries that do allow people to own guns, but their culture is less violent and crazy.

Yes, guns don't kill people, people kill people, but guns make it that much easier. Just point and shoot as long as the gun is loaded and working properly.

A change in culture is what is needed to prevent and reduce people needing a gun, and/or wanting to perform a violent crime.

July 2, 2008 at 7:01 PM · Weird, I personally think it doesn't make sense, but then again, I am not a gun fan
July 2, 2008 at 7:05 PM · Disney will find a way out. I don't know if the Reedy Creek loophole will work this time, but the fireworks one may fly.

I don't suspect that many Disney employees own a gun in the first place, and even fewer probably have the urge to carry, especially since the place they work would severely frown on it. Things could be worse for Disney. They could be in Texas, where an open-carry law is being tossed around by lawmakers.

July 3, 2008 at 6:48 AM · Maybe they should go one step further and allow cast members to carry guns in the park as well? Just think of the cool additions to the costumes in Frontierland!

Wow, and the MK shooting gallery could be replaced with an honest to goodness shooting range where the targets could be other theme park mascots!

Ooooh, and we could have some real honest to goodness Frontier Justice for evil doers! I can personally guarantee that line jumping would become a problem of the past after a few cast members "took matters into their own hands"!

Remember that incident with Tigger a few years back, where Tigger clocked that teen who was obviously performing a "feel up"? If Tigger was packing, do you think that kid woulda "thunk twice" before he meat-hooked his way into a nice little "hush-hush" settlement with Disney lawyers?

We don't need less guns, we need more guns! I think everyone should have a gun!

Just don't give anyone bullets....

July 3, 2008 at 6:53 AM · This law just screams of huge potential problem down the road somewhere. I don't think that it is necessary to have a gun even locked in your car at work unless you are working in some sort of law enforcement job. I guess I am just unable to figure out why it would be useful to have a gun locked in your car in the first place not like you can use it in a split second if needed!
July 3, 2008 at 7:02 AM · Just a tid-bit of information here:

Places which allow people to carry hand guns on their person have lower crime rates involving hand-guns.

It's simple logic. A criminal cares very little for a gun law, away. If I'm willing to shoot someone, I'm proabably also willing to break a law requiring me not to have a gun, right? So, gun laws only keep law abiding citizens without guns, and those who don't follow the laws anyway (i.e. the dangerous people) are armed. There were fewer murders per capita in the Wild West than there are in America today, and that's because of a very simple premise: predators prey on the weak. In the Wild West, it was highly likely that the person you intended to rob or bully was also armed, or that any number of good samaritans nearby would be armed, and so the prospect of you getting away with this crime without getting your face shot off was pretty low. The same premise applies today.

I serve in the military, and I know a bunch of cops, and I will tell you that the illusion that you are well protected from crime and danger is just that, an illusion. At any given time in my home county, for example, there are THREE COPS patroling the streets. I'm not making this up. My county is one of the largest and richest in the state of Virginia, however there are some seriously impoverished areas with high crime rates, and yet we have three cops. In order for gun control laws to affect the criminal element, and not simply the good citizens who don't break laws, you'll need a heck of alot more than 3 cops. I'd venture to say you'd need a cop on every corner. Since we can no more afford that then we can afford to send a colony to Neptune, I suggest that you afford good people the ability to protect themselves and each other from violent crimes, and the cops and soldiers whome I know agree.

The government is not going to save you. I'll bet you a buffalo nickel.

July 3, 2008 at 8:39 AM · I'm canadian, and I don't know anyone who owns a gun. Oh wait a minute, my brother owns a few. Of course, he lives in the U.S...

I think you get my point. Maybe in some places, ordinary citizens need guns to protect themselves. Why is that? Maybe because everyone else has guns, too? What if you lived in a society where few people had handguns, so you wouldn't need one to protect yourself, too? That's where I live, incidentally.

As for that Florida law? Ever hear the expression "great place to visit, but wouldn't want to..."

July 3, 2008 at 9:16 AM · But the law in Canada works for a reasons that don't apply in the United States. There are already quite literally hundreds of thousands of handguns on the streets, and a great many of them are in the hands of people who live outside the law. Handgun laws have been on the books for years, and yet, the rates of violent crimes committed by illegal hand guns by those who posses those guns illegally never goes down. In Canada, there may be a stronger brotherhood between men, or any other number of societal causes for the less prevelant use of firearms, but whatever it is, that dynamic does not exist in the United States.

A quick look over the facts says that 30% of Canadian homicides are committed via firearm...meaning 3 out of 10 people murdered there are dispatched with weapons that legally don't exist. All the gun laws in Canada won't bring those people back to life. In addition, the other 7 are murdered with some other weapon presumably, and had the victims been superiorly armed, some of them probably would have survived. Also, most murders committed in Canada are murders for the sake of murder, where the weapon of choice is not overly important. Many of the murders in the US are resultant from robberies, robberies which may not have even been attempted had the potential robber assumed he might find himself in someone else's sights. For evidence of this, see the statistics on violent crime in Florida, after the "shirt first" laws were put into effect.

July 3, 2008 at 9:18 AM · Disney employees do not need to carry a piece…
Well at least the average employee does not.
They could hire retired cops for security and let them carry if they are worried about not having enough protection… There is a lot of Money at these parks.

Hey look Mommy; Mickey just blew away a Teenager…

One question: What Would Walt Think?

And we are now over 10 comments...

July 3, 2008 at 9:40 AM · First I am a gun owner, and I have many friends who also own guns, and many that feel they don't belong in their house too. Too each their own, but everyone assumes that this law is going to increase crimes? Last time I was in the gun shop I didn't see anyone buying one for a drive by or to rob a store. Maybe I shop in the wrong places? I also know growning up my parents, grandparents had guns in the house. You were taught to RESPECT a gun, and people had more common sense back then maybe, and there was no need for gun locks even. And I would like to bet that if you go through the cars at Disney you will find not only employees, but park guest with guns in their cars even before the law was past. Most those who are going to break the laws and use a gun in a crime don't care as pointed out already, what the laws state. I for one won't ever carry my gun in the car, more worried about it being stolen and then used in the wrong way. I do agree every american should have the right to own a gun, but there is limits to where. Disney parking lot, yes, schools no. Basically comes down to opinion and beliefs.
July 3, 2008 at 10:40 AM · Ha, I like these controversial heated discussions, like the one about the ethics of visiting Dubai.

I also live in Canada, and have never seen anyone with a real gun (other than hunting rifles or theater guns that only fire blanks). But at the same time, I have to agree that pulling guns from people may not be the answer, as there are too many illegal arms on the streets already.

Maybe if they move slowly - gun control in little segments - slowly make it illegal in the work place, then in public, etc. etc.

July 3, 2008 at 11:12 AM · A few things:
First, I would assume that Disney would be immune to any liability since this is a Florida state law.
Second, the employees that had guns in their cars are not carrying them because they need them at WDW. They are carrying them because they live in a dangerous neighborhood, they are going hunting after working, they need it for a 2nd job, etc.
Third, if gun laws protected the innocent than Washington DC wouldn't be in the top ten of per cap murders.
Fourth, to all the Canadians, you need to check your stats. There were 8,100 victims of violent gun crime in Canada with handguns making up 2/3 of the firearms used. In addition Canada has a long history with firearms especially rifles (gun ownership in Canada is 21.8%).

And to Brandon Mendoza, I thank God that you are not in any legislature or courtroom because you have a VERY strange view of not only the Constitution, but also the Bill of Rights. In your view NONE of the rights granted by the Constitution or Bill of Rights are secure. They can ALL be taken away. The few examples you state were changed with AMENDMENTS to the Constitution. That is the ONLY way that our rights can be modified. NOT because YOU decided that they were wrong. Your views scare the heck out of me!!
In addition, Brandon, you need to do your research. Gun control laws when originally created, were created to keep guns AWAY from non-whites.

July 3, 2008 at 12:08 PM · FWIW, legal liability (or immunity) means nothing in the court of public opinion. Disney doesn't want to deal with the publicity of guns, gun violence or violence of any sort on its property. Whether it is the company's fault or not.
July 3, 2008 at 1:22 PM · The question is not one of gun control -- that issue is already solved, since one needs a permit in Florida to carry a weapon in public. Florida is NOT a "permissive open carry" state. However, Florida already allows non-permitted gun owners to carry weapons in their vehicles, as long as they are secured in appropriate carry devices (snapped holsters, cases) and not in the immediate control of the driver or occupants. (Permitted Concealed Carry owners have different rules for vehicles.) This vehicular carry right clashes with the property rights of business owners, who claim they should be able to refuse entry or employment to those who are exercising their rights under Florida's existing gun laws; hence, the enactment of the "Florida Guns at Work Law," which makes it illegal for businesses to discriminate against customers, employees or invitees who are exercising their rights under existing Florida gun laws.

It will be interesting to see Disney to claim that their *primary* business involves combustible or explosive materials, or that such an exemption extends far and wide across the 27,400 acres of the WDW property. Were that truly the case, I doubt they could justify letting so many tourists suffering from "Theme Park Syndrome" wander freely about unescorted and without more extensive security precautions.

July 3, 2008 at 4:07 PM · Thanks for assuming how I think Ted, it's just that in this day and age nothing good ever comes out of guns and other similar weaponry. People need guns as much as they need an STD, where both can ward off other people.

And hunting just for the sake of the "sport" is about as useful as bull fighting. Hunting to eat the animal is perfectly fine. But just to hunt?

Lawyers and politicians... worst jobs for me personally because you can't just tell the truth. Instead, you have to dance around things just to save your butt or someone else's. I couldn't live with myself if I had to defend someone that everyone knew wasn't guilty, but due to some technicalities in the laws or evidence, the guy serves time.

And I live right next to one of the richest areas in California... yet they have only one constant patrolling squad car... and there is a high number of grand theft auto. Next to that is another community with about four squad cars due to the high levels of gang activity. Yet there is significantly less auto theft, and the same amount of violent crimes... very minimal. The presence of security and law enforcement is a deterrent. The last thing we need is a bunch of vigilantes.

How different is it for an 18 year old kid to have a gun in a school from an 18 year old kid having a gun in a theme park? Completely unnecessary.

The last thing we need at a Disney Resort is those giant , hideous, metal detectors.

Sure, gun control laws were created for non-white people, but does that make it right? What if the 2nd Amendment said "No civilian has the right to bear arms, only military and law enforcement has that right" I'm sure things would be drastically different.

The U.S. is a country built on violence. Maybe the root of it comes down to changing society so that there would be no need to "protect" yourself with a gun.

July 4, 2008 at 5:50 AM · There is a throng of people howling about second amendment rights on the Orlando Sentinel's comment page. And all of them seem to be missing a few FACTS.

1. FACT: Walt Disney World is private property. As the owner of that property Disney should have the right to manage that property as they see fit.

2. FACT: As it stands right now, Disney is within the perimeters of the new law because they carry the federal permit.

3. FACT: Disney is not the only private company fighting this law. The Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Retail Federation oppose the law and are going to fight it in court.

And here is the most important fact:

4. Applicants for employment at Disney are informed of the policy BEFORE they are hired. If they don't like the policy, they can find employment somewhere else.

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