BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA) – Manatee County Commissioners are considering the question, do more guns in the workplace make it safe?
Commissioner James Satcher proposed a policy change that would allow county employees to conceal carry at work. He said this is about empowering them to exercise their Second Amendment rights and defend themselves.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the commissioners will discuss a report from the county attorney on potentially changing the policy that prohibits more than 2,000 county employees from possessing, using or threatening to use a deadly weapon on county property.
“I just want it to be for them to know this is not a soft target,” commissioner Satcher told News Channel 8. “I believe gun-free zones are criminal empowerment zones.”
A majority of commissioners agreed with Satcher that it is time to revisit the rules restricting county employees from bringing guns to work.
Commissioner Reggie Bellamy was the only one to vote against the motion in May.
“I am a carrier to be honest with you and I believe in making sure I have the right to defend myself,” Bellamy said. “But in certain areas, that should not apply.”
The Manatee County NAACP issued a statement against the proposed change, saying “it’s simply asking for trouble and creating a potentially wild west environment.”
While a concealed carry change could be coming for Manatee County workers, Gov. Ron DeSantis has said he supports Florida becoming a so-called “constitutional carry” state.
Before leaving the governor’s office, he said he’d like to sign a bill that would allow Floridians to publicly carry guns without a permit.
“I’m hopeful that there’s changes on the state level,” Satcher said.
The local chapter of Moms Demand Action is planning to voice its opposition of guns in the workplace during a protest Tuesday morning before the commissioners’ meeting.