CONCEALED FIREARMS DURING PANDEMIC

In 2020, the agency seized 10.2 guns per million passengers screened, twice the five firearms per million travelers screened in 2019. It was the highest gun seizure rate since the TSA’s inception 19 years ago.

Jun 14, 2021 : Suzanne Rowan Kelleher – Forbes Staff -Travel

Walt Disney World Resort has seen a spike of visitors carrying concealed firearms over the past year, the Orlando Sentinel reports, a remarkable trend considering that the world’s largest theme park resort was closed for four months during the pandemic and then in operation at reduced capacity.

At least 20 people were arrested on gun charges in 2020, compared with only four arrests in 2016, according to sheriff’s reports obtained by the Orlando Sentinel through a public records request.

And 2021 is off to a record-breaking start. Deputies arrested at least 14 Disney visitors for carrying concealed firearms in the first three and a half months of the year, through mid-April. If that pace continues, there could be four dozen arrests of this kind this year.

Disney World did not respond to a request for comment.

“Firearms, ammunitions, knives and weapons of any kind” are banned at Disney World, according to its park policy. At the entrance to each theme park, security officials search each visitor’s bags.

Last July, just three days after the Epcot theme park reopened, a Georgia woman was arrested after park security at the Epcot entrance found a 9mm handgun and a plastic bag of marijuana in her child’s diaper bag, as reported by NBC Miami and other outlets. When Orange County deputies responded, they also found a .45 caliber handgun on the bottom of the diaper bag. The woman was arrested on misdemeanor counts of carrying a concealed weapon and marijuana possession.

While not all incidents result in arrest, Disney will separate gun-toting guests from their firearms if they are discovered on Disney property. Last September, a Florida man staying with his family at Disney’s Polynesian Resort packed an AR-15 in a tennis bag and also brought a 9mm Sig Sauer handgun with him, three rifle magazines with 30 rounds each and two Sig Sauer magazines with 10 rounds each, per a report by CBS-affiliated 10 Tampa Bay News. The man claimed he had concerns about recent protests in the area. The Orange County Sheriff’s office did not arrest him because he reportedly had a valid concealed weapons permit in Florida, however the hotel stored the man’s guns for the remainder of his stay. Guests are prohibited from bringing firearms, ammunition or any weapons to its properties, per Disney policy.

During the pandemic, nearly three-quarters of the arrests occurred at Disney Springs, the dining, shopping and entertainment district that is free to enter without a ticket. Until last year, Disney Springs guests did not go through security or bag checks.

Local law enforcement has discretion whether to make an arrest if someone is caught with a concealed weapon and no permit, reports the Orlando Sentinel. Records revealed several instances where the Orange County Sheriff’s Office declined to make an arrest in such circumstances, including an incident where a man who was stopped at the entrance of Hollywood Studios park had no permit for a concealed gun that was gifted to him by his brother, a police officer. In that case, law enforcement took the gun but allowed the man to enter the park with his family.

“Generally speaking, if someone has a valid concealed carry license, they would be afforded the opportunity to put the firearm into safe storage,” a spokesperson for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said via email. “If someone does not have a valid concealed carry permit, they are illegally carrying a firearm and could either be arrested, or the report can be forwarded to the State Attorney’s Office to review, and they can determine whether criminal charges are levied.”

The spike in concealed weapon arrests at Disney World is part of a larger picture in the United States where in both gun sales and gun carrying rose dramatically during the pandemic.

Guns sales in the U.S. surged last year, driven by a variety of factors that include fears about the Covid-19 pandemic, political unrest, and the 2020 election. Nearly 23 million firearms were sold in the United States in 2020, estimates the consultancy Small Arms Analytics and Forecasting (SAAF). It was the busiest year on record for the gun industry, with sales up 65% over 2019. In the first five months of 2021, Americans purchased nearly 9.2 million firearms, compared with the 8.7 million purchased during the same period in 2020, according to SAAF.

And last year, despite a dramatic decline in the number of air passengers flying during the pandemic, the rate at which the TSA discovered guns during routine screenings doubled. In 2020, the agency seized 10.2 guns per million passengers screened, twice the five firearms per million travelers screened in 2019. It was the highest gun seizure rate since the TSA’s inception 19 years ago.

Florida Second District Court of Appeals: Judges have limited power in seizing guns

“We conclude, based on the allegations in the petition, that the trial court erred . . . “

Florida appeals court warns trial judges their power to seize guns is limited

Trial judges need specific information about physical threats before ordering firearms seized, according to the Florida Second District Court of Appeal.

Lee Williams – June 5, 2021

It took a team of 15 lawmen and court bailiffs an entire day to remove all the firearms and ammunition from Alecs Dean’s Southwest Florida home last year.

They filled an entire box truck.

Dean, a firearms expert and consultant, had amassed an incredible collection.

Most of the firearms seized weren’t even firearms, legally.

“They were antiques,” said Dean’s Attorney, Eric Friday, who is also general counsel for Florida Carry, Inc.

Dean’s ammunition collection was as extensive — consisting of thousands of rare and exotic rounds, including many pinfire cartridges, which Dean had painstakingly sorted with a magnifying glass over the years.

“They all got dumped in a box,” Friday said. “They took ammunition components that weren’t even covered by the order. They sure didn’t have the authority to seize them.”

To be clear, the court ordered Dean to surrender his weapons. It did not authorize the Lee County Sheriff’s Office to seize anything.

“They seized them on their own,” Friday said. “They just went in and grabbed them without a court order or a search warrant.”

Dean told the deputies he had a third party on the way to take possession of his collection, and he even offered to hand over the keys to his home and stay elsewhere until things could be worked out. The lawmen didn’t relent.

“We did everything we could to try to prevent this catastrophe,” Friday said.

Dean had been the subject of a temporary court order for protection against stalking, which was brought by Jaclyn Bevis, a local TV reporter in Ft. Myers, Florida.

The temporary court order prohibited Dean from possessing any firearms or ammunition, which he was ordered to surrender to law enforcement.

After the seizure, Dean immediately filed a motion seeking the immediate release of his property, arguing that the court did not have the authority to order him to surrender his firearms and ammunition based solely on a temporary injunction for stalking. The trial court denied his motion, which Dean appealed to the Florida Second District Court of Appeal.

In an opinion released Friday, the appellate court agreed with Dean.

“We conclude, based on the allegations in the petition, that the trial court erred in relying on section 784.0485(5)(a), Florida Statutes (2019), and thus we reverse the temporary injunction to the extent that it prohibited Dean from possessing firearms or ammunition and ordered their surrender,” the three-judge panel said in their opinion.

Backstory

In her March 30, 2020 sworn petition for the temporary protection order against stalking, Bevis alleged that Dean would provide her with news tips when she worked as a local TV reporter. Over time, she claimed, he “became obsessed with her,” and that when he learned she was seeing someone else, he “lost connection with reality.”

“While his threats of me have not typically been physical in nature, he did once tell me he was ‘looking to kill off another character in his autobiography,’” she wrote in her petition.

Dean’s attorney, Friday, pointed out that this statement was from an online meme, which has been shared with tens of thousands of people.

Bevis wrote she feared for her safety “on the basis of his statements, his mental state, and his access to firearms.”

The court found for Bevis, and ordered Dean to surrender his weapons.

In his appeal, Dean argued that “his right to keep and bear arms as provided for in the Florida Constitution was violated when the trial court entered the temporary injunction, which ordered that he ‘shall not use or possess a firearm or ammunition’ and that he ‘shall surrender all firearms and ammunition’ that he possessed.”

In their opinion, the appellate court noted that Bevis “did not allege any expressed threat of physical violence against her, and she did not allege any expressed or implied threat of the use of a firearm or any other weapon against her.”

The three-judge panel affirmed Bevis’ temporary injunction, but they concluded that the order to surrender his firearms “infringed upon Dean’s constitutional right to keep and bear arms as provided for in the Florida Constitution.”

“Therefore, we reverse the temporary injunction to the extent that it prohibited Dean from possessing firearms and ammunition and ordered their surrender,” the opinion states. “We otherwise affirm the temporary injunction.”

What this means

Friday pointed out that Dean’s ability to obtain fair and impartial hearings was hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic. At one hearing, Friday was told he could not appear telephonically, and Dean was subsequently told he would have to appear pro-se.

Dean’s firearms and ammunition are now in the hands of a third party, but since the trial court issued a final injunction, Dean cannot have access to his collection for an entire year, or until he can quash the final order at an upcoming hearing, which was delayed due to the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the appellate court’s opinion has statewide impact, which Dean’s attorney believes is a strong message to lower courts.

Said Friday: “The Florida 2DCA said trial judges need to be more careful. They do not have blanket authority to take guns from people solely because they issue a temporary injunction. Their power is limited. Their power to deprive someone of their constitutional rights is limited. Judges need more information about specific threats — and there were none in this case — before ordering firearms removed from someone’s home.”  

Concealed Carry Class – Winter Haven

Not all concealed carry classes are alike. We prepare you to defend your life and the lives of your loved ones.

2 Classes Available Saturday, July 24th 9:00 AM and again at 2:00 PM

IN COMMEMORATION OF SEPT. 11, 2001

We will be offering one FREE chance to win an official, 1 ounce, .999 silver, Sept. 11th  20th anniversary commemorative coin, in every class.   Each paid student will receive one FREE chance to win.

Click on the button below to register for the class of your choice.

Concealed Carry Weapons Class  CCW-100

Duration: 3 hours

Cost:  $35 – ( Regular price: $50 )

Pricing is good for July 24th classes only.

All equipment and materials provided.

There are no hidden fees. All equipment and course materials, including firearm and ammunition, are provided.

Unlike a concealed carry class conducted at a hotel, you will fire a real handgun under the instruction of an NRA certified, advanced pistol instructor.

This is the only class you will need to apply for your Florida concealed carry license and it meets the State of Florida’s training requirements for applying for a concealed carry weapons license.

– This is NOT a ‘Hotel’ conducted concealed carry class. Nothing is abbreviated or cut from the class. You will fire a ‘real’ defensive caliber handgun as part if this class.

–  Convenient online registration and payment.

– All equipment and supplies provided

–  You only need to show up the day of class.

Topics covered:

• Florida law pertaining to carrying a concealed carry weapon

• Gun safety and the fundamentals of handgun shooting

• Self-defense strategies

• What guns to purchase for concealed carry and self-defense

• Applying for and maintaining your Florida concealed carry license

• Live-fire proficiency evaluation – You will be required to fire a real defensive caliber pistol, demonstrating proficiency with a handgun.

This is our most basic concealed carry class. The class includes all the subject material and training required for applying for a State of Florida concealed carry license and includes live-fire, firearm proficiency evaluation.

* Please allow an additional 15-20 minutes for live-fire, firearm proficiency evaluation.

Note:  This is not a firearms training course.

For pistol/handgun training, we recommend our Concealed Carry Training Class – CCW 101 (5 hours), our NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting (12 hours) or our advanced concealed carry class the NRA Defensive Pistol Course (10 hours). These courses exceed the State of Florida’s training requirement for applying for a Florida concealed carry license.

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Polk County, Lakeland, Winter Haven, self-defense, concealed carry, focused fire, shooting lessons, gun training, gun classes, concealed carry, conceal weapon, online class, lead feather, online permit, gun shop, gun show, gun permit

You Took A Concealed Carry Class – Now what?

We train you to defend your life and the lives of your loved ones.

When you are serious about defending your life and the lives of your loved ones, In-Gauge of Polk County should be your only consideration for concealed carry and handgun training.
If you want to learn how to carry and use a handgun to defend your life and the lives of your loved ones, enroll in one of our either basic or advanced handgun training classes.

Our next available, comprehensive, 5-hour Handgun/Concealed Carry License Qualification Training Class is

The cost of this 5-hour handgun/concealed carry license qualification training class is $75.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at 863-206-1996.

The fully illustrated, official NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting training manual available for purchase in every basic Handgun/Concealed Carry License Qualification Training class.

In-Gauge of Polk County teaches you how to use your firearm to defend your life and the lives of your loved ones. There is no substitute for NRA firearms training.

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Polk County, Lakeland, Winter Haven, self-defense, concealed carry, focused fire, shooting lessons, gun training, gun classes, concealed carry, conceal weapon, online class, lead feather, online permit, gun shop, gun show, gun permit

Florida 6-year-old shot by gun “owned” by 15-year-old

Florida 6-year-old grazed by bullet after 4-year-old relative fires gun

June 09, 2021 : By JAMI GANZ -NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Who are we to judge? However, by all appearances the author does not want to hold the 15-year-old accountable. The article should have more correctly stated: “The firearm was illegally in the possession of a 15-year-old family friend.” In the state of Florida, a 15-year-old cannot legally own or be in possession of a firearm.

A Florida child was grazed by a bullet after a 4-year-old relative fired a gun at the kids’ home, according to authorities.

Tampa Police said the bullet grazed the leg of the 6-year-old, who did not sustain serious injuries but was hospitalized, the Tampa Bay Times reported Tuesday.

Authorities said the firearm was hidden under a sofa at the residence and “appears” to belong to a 15-year-old family friend, according to the outlet.

Andrew Warren, State Attorney for Hillsborough County, in which Tampa is located, took to Twitter to weigh in on the incident.

“My anger-fueled tirade on gun safety & the gun violence epidemic does not lend itself to 280 characters. So I’ll just say thank God he’s alive,” tweeted Warren.

Police said that no one else was injured in the shooting, according to the paper.

Whether any adults were home when the shooting unfolded was not detailed in a media release referred to by the outlet.

At least 369 unintended shootings by children occurred in the U.S. last year, leading to 142 deaths and 242 injuries, according to statistics from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The site and AAP recommend that while guns should not be kept in homes with children, if firearms are present, they should be stored in a safe or lock box.

Boynton Beach, Florida gun buyback program collects 127 firearms

Police say the buyback was a huge success.

Boynton Beach gun buyback program

By: Jon Shainman – 2021-06-05

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — A gun buyback program was held Saturday in Boynton Beach.

It required the combined efforts of the police, the community, and the church.

With the 4th of July approaching, Minister Dominic Murray knows what that means.

“You’re going to hear fireworks, you’re going to hear gunshots,” he said.

The police presence Saturday at the Boynton Beach Church of God House of Kingdom Worship was not there to mark a crime scene, but to partner up in a crime-fighting effort.

For the first time, Boynton Beach police held a gun buyback program.

“Everywhere there are guns. I have nothing against guns. It’s just people and what they use the guns for,” said Rev. Chiquita Jones.

Functional firearms could be returned with no questions asked.

$100 gift cards were offered in exchange for handguns, and $200 gift cards were offered for shotguns.

As for the church location, that was done for a reason.

“A church is where everybody is to come together and feel safe here,” said Minister Murray.

Church leaders say it’s an effort to continue to build bridges between law enforcement and the community.

“We’re here for them. We’re not against police officers. I’ve got law enforcement in my family,” said Pastor Kenneth Jones.

Police say the buyback was a huge success.

127 firearms were collected and $18,000 in gift cards were distributed.

“I want the community to be peaceful. We come together as one,” Rev. Jones said.


Boynton Beach police to offer gun buyback event for first time in department history

May 2021 – Gun Sales Surge Continues

The number of firearm sales checks represents the second-highest May on record, following only the massive firearm-buying surge experienced in May 2020.

Gun Sales Surge Continues with Diverse Interest in Firearms

MONDAY, JUNE 7, 2021

Strong gun sales continued in May, with FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System data showing nearly 1.3 million background checks were conducted pursuant to firearms sales last month. Moreover, the FBI conducted a total of 3.2 million firearm-related background checks of all types – including checks for NICS exempt firearm permits that allow holders to purchase firearms without an additional background check for the next five years. The number of firearm sales checks represents the second-highest May on record, following only the massive firearm-buying surge experienced in May 2020.

Since the surge in gun-buying began at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, those in the firearms industry and even the reluctant news media have made two important observations: (1) The increase in gun purchasing included many first-time gun buyers; (2) Those purchasing firearms did not conform to stereotypes about the “typical” American gun owner

In February, firearm industry trade group the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) released data on the firearm sales increase based on a survey of Federal Firearm Licensees (gun dealers). A press release explained “NSSF estimates that 40 percent of those gun sales were for first-time gun buyers, totaling 8.4 million new gun owners in the United States in 2020.” The item went on to note, “Firearm ownership is also increasingly diverse as sales among women accounted for 40 percent of all sales, and purchases by African Americans increased by 56 percent compared to 2019.

In the early months of the pandemic, the legacy press was forced to cover the increase in gun sales and the diversity of those choosing to exercise their Second Amendment rights

In March 2020, the San Francisco Chronicle shared the story of Petaluma, Calif. gun shop owner Gabriel Vaughn, who told the paper “about 90% of his customers in recent days have been first-time gun buyers.” That same week, the New York Times reported that “Some dealers said an unusually high proportion of sales have been to first-time gun buyers.”

On May 29, the New York Times added to the growing understanding of America’s ongoing and diverse gun-buying surge by reporting on new data from a survey conducted by Northeastern University and the Harvard Injury Control Research Center. While the figures reported were not quite the same as those presented by NSSF, the information painted a picture of a growing and diverse group of gun owners.

Summarizing the findings, the Times explained,

about a fifth of all Americans who bought guns last year were first-time gun owners. And the data, which has not been previously released, showed that new owners were less likely than usual to be male and white. Half were women, a fifth were Black and a fifth were Hispanic.

Adding an anecdote, the New York Times noted,

Many gun store workers reported that last year set records for sales and also that they noticed different types of buyers walking in the door. Thomas Harris, a former law enforcement officer who works at the gun counter at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Roanoke, Va., said that around March last year, the customers he would speak with began to include more white-collar workers, such as people from insurance firms and software companies. He said many of the buyers were not conservative and most had never handled a gun.

With even the gun confiscation proponents at New York Times acknowledging the diverse face of gun ownership in America, anti-gun activists and politicians should take note. The ugly prejudices and stereotypes they share and employ to attack the gun community do not comport to reality and their bigoted campaign becomes more transparent all the time.

WEAR ORANGE – ‘Gun Control Weekend’

Nikki Fried, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture: “I’m proud to work with Everytown for Gun Safety . . . “

The Florida Department of Agriculture has partnered with Everytown for Gun Safety.

Nikki Fried is ordering Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services buildings to light up orange this weekend to support gun violence awareness.

Wear Orange Weekend runs Saturday and Sunday. Friday was also National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

The department is illuminating the historic Mayo Building located across from the Florida Capitol, as well as the department’s Tallahassee Regional Licensing Office, where the department processes concealed weapons permit applications.

Nikki Fried is bathing her office building orange to raise awareness of gun violence.

“With so many lives lost to gun violence in the Sunshine State and around the nation, it’s important to send a message: we remain determined to see common-sense gun violence prevention reforms enacted to protect our communities,” Fried said. “As the lives of children, parents, friends, loved ones and fellow Floridians have been cut short by firearms, we will stand strong to demand change that honors their memory.”

“I’m proud to work with Everytown for Gun Safety to mark this occasion, which I hope will lead to reflection, persistence, and long-overdue action on gun violence.”

Fried proclaimed Friday, June 4, as Gun Violence Awareness Day in Florida in a proclamation on behalf of the Florida Cabinet.

The key department buildings are lit orange in a partnership with Everytown for Gun Safety, America’s largest gun violence prevention organization.

Concealed Carry Classes That Train You How To Use A Handgun

Not all concealed carry classes are alike.
We train you to defend your life and the lives of you loved ones.

June Class Schedule:

Considering a Florida concealed carry permit?

We do not want to train everyone who wants a Florida concealed carry license. We only want to train those who are serious about defending their life with a firearm and want to know how to do so correctly.

If you only want the minimum required class for applying for a Florida concealed carry license, we encourage you to take a gun show class or one of those conducted in a rented hotel room.

If you want to learn how to safely and correctly use your firearm to defend your life and the lives of your loved ones, in public or at home, then contact us for participation in either our basic or advanced concealed carry handgun or defensive shotgun classes. All our firearm training classes meet or exceed the State of Florida’s training requirement for applying for a Florida concealed carry weapons license.

When you are serious about defending your life and the lives of your loved ones, In-Gauge of Polk County should be your only consideration for concealed carry and handgun training.
If you want to learn how to carry and use a handgun to defend your life and the lives of your loved ones, enroll in one of our either basic or advanced handgun training classes.

Our next available, comprehensive, 5-hour Handgun/Concealed Carry License Qualification Training Class is

The cost of this 5-hour handgun/concealed carry license qualification training class is $75.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at 863-206-1996.

The fully illustrated, official NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting training manual available for purchase in every basic Handgun/Concealed Carry License Qualification Training class.

In-Gauge of Polk County teaches you how to use your firearm to defend your life and the lives of your loved ones. There is no substitute for NRA firearms training.

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Polk County, Lakeland, Winter Haven, self-defense, concealed carry, focused fire, shooting lessons, gun training, gun classes, concealed carry, conceal weapon, online class, lead feather, online permit, gun shop, gun show, gun permit