Disney fires back on guns at work-Part 2

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Thread: Disney fires back on guns at work-Part 2

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    VIP Member Array miklcolt45's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Disney fires back on guns at work-Part 2

    Disney fires back on guns at work -- OrlandoSentinel.com

    Disney fires back on guns at work

    Scott Powers and Jason Garcia | Sentinel Staff Writers
    8:42 PM EDT, July 2, 2008

    Walt Disney World employees won't be packing any heat in the company parking lots anytime soon.

    The giant resort has declared that much of its sprawling property is exempt from a new state law that allows Floridians with concealed-weapons permits to keep firearms locked in their cars at work.

    Disney, which has 60,000 employees and a long-standing policy against allowing guns on its land, cites an arcane -- and late-added -- loophole in the new law, which took effect Tuesday.

    The company's position stunned backers of the new law, who said Wednesday that they never intended to exempt Florida's largest single-site employer. "You've got to be kidding me," said state Sen. Durell Peaden, a Panhandle Republican and one of the authors of the bill.

    For three years, much of the big-business community in Florida -- including Disney, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Retail Federation -- had vigorously opposed legislation intended to ensure that employees could store guns in their vehicles while at work. That opposition was offset by strong support from the National Rifle Association, however, and such a bill finally was approved this spring by the state Legislature.

    But Disney now contends that it is largely unaffected by the measure.

    In a memo circulated last week and obtained by the Orlando Sentinel, Disney World Vice President of Public Affairs Shannon McAleavey advised other company executives that, with a few exceptions, "this law does not apply to Walt Disney World Co. owned and leased properties." Consequently, Disney "continues to maintain a zero tolerance policy" for guns. If an employee brings one onto Disney World property without authorization, it could be grounds for termination, the memo states.

    In an interview Wednesday, McAleavey said it is a matter of "protecting the safety of our cast and our guests."

    Move outrages NRA

    The NRA reacted quickly.

    The organization issued an alert Wednesday to members under the heading, "Disney Thumbing Nose at the New Florida Gun Law," accusing Disney of being a "prime offender when it comes to firing employees for exercising Second Amendment rights."

    Disney cites language within Florida's newly enacted "Preservation and Protection of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in Motor Vehicles Act of 2008" that creates an exception for companies whose primary business is to manufacture, use, store or transport explosives regulated under federal law.

    "I intended it to exempt places like defense plants, Air Force bases, things like that," said Peaden, who sponsored the bill in the Senate. "But not Disney. Not at all."

    But on the same day that the House took its final vote on the gun bill, the exemption for explosives companies was revised so that it also includes "property owned or leased by an employer who has obtained a permit" under federal law for such explosives.

    Disney has such a permit, for the extensive fireworks used in its theme parks.

    State Rep. Stan Mayfield, a Vero Beach Republican also involved in crafting the final legislation, said lawmakers had agreed to insert that exception at the request of a small group of lawyers representing several businesses and business groups -- including Disney.

    But Mayfield said nobody ever intended for the language to spare so much of the Disney resort, which covers about 30,000 acres.

    "I don't think anybody that voted for that bill expected Disney to be exempt," Mayfield said.

    Disney officials said they have carefully reviewed the language and determined that the law excludes most Disney World property. McAleavey's memo concluded that it exempts "all theme parks, resorts, theme-park and resort parking lots, Cast Member parking lots, administrative offices across the Walt Disney World Resort, Downtown Disney, Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex, hotels on Hotel Plaza Boulevard, Celebration and the Disney Reservation Centers" in Orlando and Tampa.

    The language does not exempt Disney Vacation Club's Vero Beach Resort, Disney Cruise Line's crew-member parking lots and a couple of other Disney properties in Florida, according to the memo.

    Law challenged in court

    But McAleavey also noted that the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Retail Federation are challenging the law in court, and Disney would continue to support that effort. A Tampa judge could rule this month, "and we are hopeful it will be overturned," she wrote.

    Other theme parks also might hold appropriate explosives permits because of their fireworks programs.

    But Universal Orlando is claiming a different exemption: The resort houses a work-study program, the Universal Education Center, that is staffed by Orange County Public Schools.

    "We are required to follow school-district policies," spokesman Tom Schroder said. "The Orange County Public School System is exempt from this law. We have so informed our team members."

    SeaWorld Orlando takes an entirely different approach: That company supports the rights of its employees or visitors to transport legal firearms in their cars, "and we have for some time," spokeswoman Becca Bides said.

    Scott Powers can be reached at spowers@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-5441. Jason Garcia can be reached at jrgarcia@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-5664.
    Grrr!

    On a side note, don't know whether or not an email from a certain forum initiated any of this...
    Last edited by miklcolt45; July 2nd, 2008 at 09:01 PM. Reason: add comment
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    Distinguished Member Array LenS's Avatar
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    Easy way to solve this problem is for whatever local agency issued the explosives/fireworks permits to revoke them!

    A THOROUGH inspection would surely turn up some violations to justify such action!

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    Senior Member Array MilitaryPower's Avatar
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    Oh nuts. Can employees have mouse poison in their cars? Maybe that will take away some of the stupidity.

    I think they need to change the law quickly. Part of the reason they made this law was for Disney employees.
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    Heres another thing for you guys,Florida is a right to work state employers can terminate you for any reason,and im sure they are not gonna tell you its because you have your gun in your car. seems to me thats another loophole.Luckily for me my employer ok with it.

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    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    However, it doesn't exempt "private citizens" if I'm reading all of this correctly, just the employees. That sucks.

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    Senior Member Array InspectorGadget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miklcolt45 View Post
    Disney fires back on guns at work -- OrlandoSentinel.com


    But on the same day that the House took its final vote on the gun bill, the exemption for explosives companies was revised so that it also includes "property owned or leased by an employer who has obtained a permit" under federal law for such explosives.

    Disney has such a permit, for the extensive fireworks used in its theme parks.

    State Rep. Stan Mayfield, a Vero Beach Republican also involved in crafting the final legislation, said lawmakers had agreed to insert that exception at the request of a small group of lawyers representing several businesses and business groups -- including Disney.

    But Mayfield said nobody ever intended for the language to spare so much of the Disney resort, which covers about 30,000 acres.

    Grrr!

    On a side note, don't know whether or not an email from a certain forum initiated any of this...

    It sounds like The Mouse House rigged the system in it's favor. They probably knew the is many weeks ago and had their lawyers wright up the email about their being exempt at the same time. Legally they are correct, and because of that the law needs to be ammended and Dizzyney needs to pay a big financial price for this game. Fool me once shame on you.
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    Senior Member Array Daddy Warcrimes's Avatar
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    And they call gun shows a loop hole?
    "and suddenly I can not hold back my sword hand's anger"

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    Yay SeaWorld!
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    You do have to grudgingly admire the cleverness of Disney's approach.

    It looks like the law is going to get overturned in the civil suit filed by te chamber of commerce anyway. It's not a good sign when the judge calls the ordinance "stupidly written".

    Matt
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    VIP Member Array David in FL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LenS View Post

    Easy way to solve this problem is for whatever local agency issued the explosives/fireworks permits to revoke them!

    I told my wife that exact same thing this morning!

    Problem solved. Now your cast members can have their guns in their cars and you can no longer use fireworks. How's that work for ya?!

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    VIP Member Array David in FL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattLarson View Post
    You do have to grudgingly admire the cleverness of Disney's approach.

    It looks like the law is going to get overturned in the civil suit filed by te chamber of commerce anyway. It's not a good sign when the judge calls the ordinance "stupidly written".

    Matt

    I agree with Disney's cleverness. The legislators were stupid.

    I disagree that the Chamber suit will necessarily overturn the law. We'll see.

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    VIP Member Array David in FL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paramedic70002 View Post
    Yay SeaWorld!

    Yep. Give SeaWorld your money, not the rat!

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    Member Array dang.45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattLarson View Post
    You do have to grudgingly admire the cleverness of Disney's approach.

    It looks like the law is going to get overturned in the civil suit filed by te chamber of commerce anyway. It's not a good sign when the judge calls the ordinance "stupidly written".

    Matt
    Have you got any links to info explaining what part of the law the judge finds to be "stupidly written"? Just curious...
    "It is only as retaliation that force may be used and only against the man who starts its use. No, I do not share his evil or sink to his concept of morality: I merely grant him his choice, destruction, the only destruction he had a right to choose: his own." - John Galt, from Atlas Shrugged

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    Senior Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by dang.45 View Post
    Have you got any links to info explaining what part of the law the judge finds to be "stupidly written"? Just curious...
    No links - it was a comment reported in a radio news item. The Chamber of Commerce sought an injunction to keep the law from taking effect, which the judge denied even though he reportedly called the law "stupidly written".

    Matt
    Battle Plan (n) - a list of things that aren't going to happen if you are attacked.
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    Belay that.

    TALLAHASSEE - A new Florida law intended to prohibit public and private employers alike from banning guns locked inside cars in their parking lots is so badly written it's "stupid," a federal judge declared Wednesday.

    U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle declined, however, to rule on a request for a preliminary injunction before the law takes effect next Tuesday.

    Hinkle said he needed more time to study the issue and doubted two business groups challenging the law would suffer irreparable harm before he makes a decision, probably in mid-July.

    Federal judge calls new Florida gun law 'stupid' -- OrlandoSentinel.com
    Matt
    Battle Plan (n) - a list of things that aren't going to happen if you are attacked.
    Blame it on Sixto - now that is a viable plan.

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