Even in many pro-gun counties, government employees who aren’t law enforcement don’t get to carry guns at work. In many cases, it’s not a huge deal. Many workers are in protected buildings and they wouldn’t carry a gun anyway.
Others have to travel for work, often in sketchy parts of town while being responsible for a lot of expensive equipment.
They’re a target.
Yet one Florida county is looking to possibly change that.
The Manatee County Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt a new policy allowing county employees to carry firearms at work.
Commissioner James Satcher first made the proposal last May, but the updated policy was delayed by legal review and a recent change in the county’s management. Following the adoption of the rule, staff will be allowed to carry guns in the coming weeks.
As of Tuesday afternoon, a written policy was not ready for public review, according to Bill Logan, the county’s information outreach manager.
Tuesday’s decision marks another controversial decision by a conservative board that has tackled culture war battles, such as banning diversity initiatives and reviewing content at public libraries. In March, county officials approved a Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution supporting gun rights.
The county’s new firearm policy allows properly licensed employees to carry guns while working. Satcher said the proposal is meant to allow employees to defend themselves in the event of an emergency.
Whether they get into culture war issues or not, this is absolutely the right call.
After all, it’s not like a municipal building has ever been the target of a mass shooting, for example.
The truth is that this isn’t allowing anyone to carry who isn’t properly licensed. Interestingly, this is a state that just passed permitless carry, which means the rules appear to be more restrictive than state regulations for carrying guns, which should let some people rest a bit easier.
It won’t, though, because while Florida’s permit requirements still include mandatory training, some people just hate guns so much that they don’t think anyone can be properly trained enough to defend their own life.
Yet if Manatee County goes through with this, their employees will be much safer, as will the community as a whole.
Guns aren’t the problem. They’ve never been the problem.
The problem is and has always been bad people. They like to prey on the weak, and that includes county employees who are just trying to go about their day and do the job they’re paid to do. This shouldn’t open them up to be victimized by the evil people we find in every community.
So allowing those who wish to be armed to carry guns also means those predators have to assume any county employee is armed. As a result, none of them are safe prey, which makes everyone else safer by extension.
It’s herd immunity for crime and always has been. It’s why guns save lives.
My hope is that the county does pass this new rule and that employees take advantage of it.