New bill would allow local elected officials to bring guns to government meetings

by

comment
PHOTO VIA ADOBE STOCK
  • Photo via Adobe Stock
Local elected officials in Florida could bring guns to government meetings, but people appearing before them would remain unable to carry weapons, under a bill filed Wednesday.

The proposal (SB 1524) by Sen. George Gainer, R-Panama City, would change a law that prohibits people from bringing guns to government meetings. The bill would create an exception to allow members of county commissions, municipal boards, school boards or special district boards to pack heat at their meetings if they have concealed weapons licenses. A similar exemption exists for judges in their courtrooms.



The state bans carrying concealed weapons at places such as police and sheriff's stations, jails, courthouses, polling places, colleges, professional sporting events and bars. Rep. Mel Ponder, R-Destin, filed a similar bill (HB 183) in September.

The bills are filed for the 2020 legislative session, which starts Tuesday. Gainer is a former longtime member of the Bay County Commission, while Ponder is running this year for an Okaloosa County Commission seat.



Stay on top of Orlando news and views. Sign up for our weekly Headlines newsletter.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.