Disney Sued Over Gun Ban at Animal Kingdom

A prior entry discussed the refusal of Disney and Universal Studios to comply with a new Florida law allowing citizens to bring guns to work. (SeaWorld is allowing armed employees). Now, Edwin Sotomayer has sued Disney after he was fired for packing at the Animal Kingdom and the matter will move to the courts.

Sotomayer and his counsel appear to have forced the confrontation — picking July 4th for the encounter.

He has worked at Disney as a security guard for 13 years and was suspended for bringing his .45-caliber pistol to work at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

He explained that “It is a big deal to me, and it is a big deal to me and thousands of people around the country that believe Disney is, you know, very un-American, and obviously, on the Fourth of July, they became very un-American.” Disney is claiming an exemption allowed companies that store a great deal of explosives on their property. Disney uses fireworks at the Magic Kingdom.

Ironically, Disney (I believe) still holds the record as the most surveilled private property on Earth, with more hidden cameras per square foot than any other business. It also has a huge security force. Of course, there are always the animals at the Animal Kingdom, though shooting at the fish at SeaWorld is more sporty.

For the full story, click here.

16 thoughts on “Disney Sued Over Gun Ban at Animal Kingdom”

  1. And it’s why farmers around these here parts paint C-O-W in bright orange letters on their cows druing hunting season!

  2. Joel,

    Do you know why Police and military personnel train in hand to hand fighting? Because there are several situations where a gun is worse then no protection. There’s a range (and I forget the exact number, but it’s bigger then you think) where the attacker can get to you before you have time to get an accurate shot off. What if the attacker gets the gun from you? What if you do get a shot off and your shot goes wide and shoots a bystander coming to help?
    There’s also the fact that no matter how much gun safety you practice that doesn’t mean the other people bringing their guns in practice the same common sense. That’s why I’m so careful in choosing who I hunt with.

  3. Joel:

    “And that’s why many folks choose to carry to protect themselves as they go about their lives, just as many folks choose to fasten their seatbelts when in a car….”

    And what backwoods holler do you hail from? I could agree with your statement in 1890, but not now. Then again that is the mindset of most neo-cons.

  4. I’m kind of puzzled. Given all of the videos we see of crimes being committed, what makes you think that being the most surveilled private property in the US would make Disneyland safe?

    That said, I think most places most folks go are safe most of the time, certainly including amusement parks. If they weren’t, reasonable folks would go elsewhere.

    But, of course, sometimes amusement parks aren’t safe — see http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives2/2008/07/021014.php . And that’s why many folks choose to carry to protect themselves as they go about their lives, just as many folks choose to fasten their seatbelts when in a car, even if they don’t expect to be in a crash. It’s certainly why I do.

  5. BethinVA:

    You have the exact implication flowing these stupid laws passed in Florida and Louisiana by the neander-cons who runs those states. You have the right as a property owner to deny access to anyone you choose under the “Castle Doctrine,” and non-possession of deadly weapons would be criterion one for me. You might recall that here in Virginia our betters at the General Assembly actually considered permitting concealed weapons in bars–that’s the right the lethal blending of alcohol and firearms. That alone should have been reason enough to mentally evaluate the whole Chamber. The broader question for me is when are we formally recognizing the NRA as king in this country?

  6. Do I have a right to prohibit guns within my own house? Within my business? What if it’s a child daycare? It seems common sense that I should. In fact, if an accident with a gun occurred in my daycare with a gun, I might be liable for negligence, child endangerment for allowing it there.

    The Disneyworld example seems to be the same thing. If they allow guns to anyone besides licensed and trained law enforcement professionals, I will not attend Disneyworld, and most parents would agree. It would be a business-breaker to have guns in a theme park. This is common sense, which I know doesn’t always apply to the law!

  7. I once heard a story about Disneyworld, and I admit that I do not know if it is true. So, yes, this would be “hearsay”. If it is true, then that wouldn’t matter.

    When Walt Disney was looking for a place to build a new theme park, he did not want to be hampered by city ordinances that would restrict how big he could make his attractions (a problem that frustrated him at his Anaheim, Ca, park, Disneyland. So, he made it a requirement for whatever place agreed to have him that he would have sole control of the law within his park. In effect, the laws of the state of Florida would not apply to property owned by Disneyworld.

    That’s the story I heard. If it is true, then Disney will win in court. If not, then I don’t know.

  8. Well said Gino, although I am not sold on the right to carry it anywhere. Even Justice Scalia said that there can be reasonable restrictions on the right to bear arms. But you are right when you say the two rights are in conflict now. I don’t often find myself on the same side of an issue with a corporation like Disney.

  9. When you take a good, valuable right, like the right to keep and bear arms, and then by law say that you have to let guns onto other peoples’ property, pitting gun owners against property owners, then something has gone wrong. The right to keep and bear arms and to property, properly conceived, have no such inherent conflicts. It’s only when the government puts its two cents in and writes a law do we find ourselves arguing about the right balance. You can have your gun, and I think you should be allowed to carry it where you want, but my right to keep your guns off of my property is not a conflict because, inherent in my right to property, is the right to exclude you from it.

  10. rafflaw:

    I always thought that the bravest guys didn’t carry their courage on their hip. Crazy me. And I say “squawk, squawk” to russ’ “cluck, cluck.”

  11. Mespo,
    I know am I on the correct side of the issue when Russ gives us the always impressive, “cluck,cluck, cluck” argument.

  12. rafflaw:

    russ ( I mean Herr Karl) is right. You have no right as a property owner to deny your guests the right to pack heat in your house with your kids around–metaphorically or otherwise. Hell, bring ’em to Court. We need a little more excitement. Why even at Church they are useful. Keeps the sermons short. Yeehaw!

  13. I am not a fan of citizens carrying handguns into public places. If you want to own a gun and keep it at home for “protection”, I can live with that. I can remember going to law school at night and there were some Chicago Police officers in class with me and when they sat next to me with their gun in its holster, I was nervous the entire night. I didn’t feel any safer with them carrying a gun at the time, but I believe that they were required to wear them. Keep your guns at home.

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