Charlie Mondale is a Florida small business owner who loves guns. But this Lakeland man can’t do everything he wants to when it comes to his Second Amendment rights. While he can own and sell guns, Polk County has said he can’t build them for profit: even though another man just a few miles away is doing the same thing.
“I have to have this license to start,” said Mondale. “I can’t even begin seeing if my ideas will work until I legally have the ability to do so because it’s a $10,000 fine per silencer if they’re not tagged.”
The Florida businessman said when he was looking to combine his love of guns with the need to turn a profit, he decided to use the machine shop located on his property to build suppressors he could turn around and sell. But when he tried to get approval from Polk County, he received a shocking answer: no.
Mondale showed 10News a letter from the county. It authorizes his Lakeland neighbor to do the exact same thing Mondale wants to do.
It says Polk County is pre-empted by relevant statutes from the state and has no authority to regulate home manufacturing of firearms.
So although his dream is to manufacture a newly designed suppressor for profit, and his county admits they cannot restrict him from doing so, he’s still being told no – despite the fact his friend is doing the exact same things just miles away.
“It’s a little discouraging that some people are allowed to do it but I’m being excluded from it,” Mondale said.
The issue was even brought to the state’s Attorney General Pam Bondi, who said the county does have the ability to give Mondale the approval to make suppressors, just as they did the other man a few miles from Mondale.
“It seems strange that if you meet all of the federal criteria but yet the county can say you can do it, but you can’t. That’s the thing that I don’t understand,” said Mondale.
No word if Bondi will step in to assist the Polk County man, but Mondale is a man on a mission. He says he plans to bring his fight back to the county and ultimately, will achieve his goal of manufacturing guns and suppressors to sell.