Should Manatee County employees be able to carry guns? Officials debate changing rule

Should Manatee County employees be able to carry guns? Officials debate changing rule

License-to-carry instructor Cassie Shockey, of Shoot Smart indoor shooting range in Pennsylvania, talks firearm safety rules to ensure safety when handling a gun. By Joyce Marshall License-to-carry instructor Cassie Shockey, of Shoot Smart indoor shooting range in Pennsylvania, talks firearm safety rules to ensure safety when handling a gun. By Joyce Marshall Manatee County’s 1,900-employee workforce may soon be free to carry firearms on the job. County staff have been asked to begin researching a policy change that would allow employees to arm themselves while at work. Commissioner James Satcher raised the issue Tuesday afternoon during a public meeting. “We see that gun-free zones should be called criminal empowerment zones. They basically just let the bad guys know exactly where to target,” Satcher said. “I feel we have a similar situation right now with 2,000 county employees that are not allowed to exercise their Second Amendment rights while they’re at work.” “If something happened to an employee, I’d have trouble sleeping afterward,” he added. Residents and visitors with the proper license may bring firearms on county property, but county employees are prohibited from carrying guns on the job. Gov. Ron DeSantis has also expressed support for constitutional carry , which would allow most people to carry a firearm without a government permit . Satcher’s proposal set the board off on a two-hour debate, as some commissioners rallied behind the idea and others questioned why the policy had been suggested in the first place. “I’m a very pro-Second Amendment girl. […]

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