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Gunned down: Lee attorney says anti-firearms signs at beaches must go Naples Daily News


Lee County is misrepresenting the law at its parks by posting signs prohibiting firearms, an attorney says.

Patrick Buckley of Fort Myers is also a National Rifle Association firearms instructor who teaches concealed weapons permit classes, telling people all the time where they can and cannot carry a firearm in Florida.

One of the places they can is county parks.

“The statute is clear as crystal,” Buckley said.

Buckley came across the issue when he took a family weekend trip to county-owned Bowman’s Beach on Sanibel.

“No Open Fires, Alcoholic Beverages or Firearms” said the sign at the parking lot.

Buckley said he knows better, and now so does the county. He wrote a letter to county officials explaining the law and the conflict. The state concealed weapons law specifically supersedes any county or city ordinance, meaning the county doesn’t have the legal authority to prohibit lawfully carried guns from its parks.

“That is correct,” assistant county attorney Jed Schneck said. “Certainly our ordinance is in conflict with state law.”

Parks director Barbara Manzo said that she has that opinion from the county attorney’s office. She was at an annual park administrators meeting in Orlando where she said the issue is a hot topic. Numerous other Florida cities and counties prohibit firearms in their parks.

“We believe there are other statutes that may come into effect,” she said. “I’m speaking to the lobbyists and legislators for parks and rec, and they’re not convinced. There’s a difference of opinion here.”

Not to Buckley. Not to Collier County attorneys, who according to parks administrator Camden Smith had the ordinance changed to remove the firearms prohibition.

“We took it to the attorney and had it reviewed and they determined it couldn’t be enforced,” Smith said.

Not to the handful of other Florida jurisdictions Buckley’s notified - he says he’s batting 1,000.

And not to Interim Lee County Manager Karen Hawes, who wrote back to Buckley agreeing with his assessment.

“Lee County parks and recreation is working on having the signs removed and/or the reference to firearms deleted,” Hawes wrote.

Manzo said that the firearms prohibition is an issue of safety at county parks.

“I’m not doing that until I leave no stone unturned,” she said.

At least two commissioners agreed.

“I think we’re trying to find a balance where people feel safe and we don’t hinder people’s rights,” Lee Commissioner Tammy Hall said.

“We’re a tourist destination, and we want people to feel safe. We won’t continue to conflict with state law.”

“It may be in conflict with state law and unenforceable,” added Lee Commissioner Frank Mann said. “It’s still not a good idea to have guns in a county park.”

Buckley agreed it’s a safety issue, but said he’s safer - as are those around him - when he has his gun.

“Why would we want to make a public park a victimization zone?” he asked. “If someone’s attacked and their firearm is in the car because of the sign I just don’t know how you take that back.”

Hall and Mann both said park-goers would be safer if no guns were allowed. They disagreed in their vehemence.

“There are extremes on both sides,” Hall said.

“(Heck with) him,” Mann responded.

Manzo said she hopes to know more about how the county might keep the signs and the prohibition next week. Buckley said he’ll be interested to hear what it is.

“I do have a problem with a governmental entity misrepresenting the state of the legal order,” he said.

“I do have a problem with the concept of being asked to waive constitutional rights to go to a park. That bothers me at the base of my spine.”

Buckley said he hadn’t expected resistance given his past success.

“If I think they’re forcing my hand in order to protect the community I’d try to sit with the county commissioners and if necessary petition for a writ of mandamus.”

That would amount to a legal order to change the signs.

“Ultimately the county attorneys office will win out on that one,” Hall said. “We’ll have to have signs that are appropriate.”



We need more attorney's like this guy!:congrats:
 

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MR. Buckley is THE MAN :35: & A GREAT Attorney :bier:
 

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“I think we’re trying to find a balance where people feel safe and we don’t hinder people’s rights,” Lee Commissioner Tammy Hall said.

“We’re a tourist destination, and we want people to feel safe.
There they go again... wanting people to feel safe at the expense of actually being safe. Commissioner Hall, if you really want people to feel safe, then don't make it more difficult for them to protect themselves against violence.
 

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if the sign says NOTHING about guns, the sheeple will not know any better anyway.

Suggested new sign

No open fires, No alcoholic beverages.

wow doesn't spread any panic or anything.

idiots....
 

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Some good stuff and some typical anti/:sheep: stuff. Sign or no sign you can still carry in the gunshine state.:wink:
 

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Do I sense a bleeding heart here . . .they feel so much better.

It's another case of Liberals imposing their will on others so they can "feel better" of like they've done something. Hogwash.
 

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Good to hear someone stood up for our rights.

And as to it being a "tourist spot". Concealed is concealed… it’s not like they would ever know.
 

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Patrick is a member of this forum, as well as Florida Concealed Carry. He is an active contributor there, and a very active advocate for 2A-related issues in FL.
 

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Manzo said she hopes to know more about how the county might keep the signs and the prohibition next week. Buckley said he’ll be interested to hear what it is.

Typical liberal mentality the female parks manager has. Even in light of the fact that they are violating the "law" she thinks there may be a way around it and will wait to do the "lawful" thing which is to remove the signs. I wish Buckley would file a lawsuit demanding their removal right now, without waiting. It is perfectly clear and the citizens should not be made to wait for some anti-gun county employee and commissioners to get further verification. :aargh4:

If you feel this a true violation of your rights, support it by sending and email to the people involved regardless of where you live. This is how little things add up to big trouble for law abiding citizens.

[email protected] - Tammy Hall

[email protected] - Frank Mann

[email protected] - Lee County Parks and Rec Manager
 

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MR. Buckley is THE MAN :35: & A GREAT Attorney :bier:
Is this the Buckley of "Golstein, Buckley, Sechman, Rice and Purtz"?

Gotta love those catchy jingles they have on their ads.

As for Lee County parks and rec, they are nothing but a bunch of tree huggin, anti-hunting (try hunting on conservation 20/20 land), nanny state, Yankees, who want to turn the real Florida into what they think it should be or make it how it was "up north." They all make me sick. One of the reasons I got out of FL. I got tired of living in occupied territory under the thumb of a bunch of tyrannical transplants from the liberal bastions of New England.
To think that the County is named after Robert E. Lee. (SgtD bows head in reverence, shame, and disgust....slowly wipes moisture from the corner of his eye)
The Florida I (and three generations before me) grew up in is no longer in existance. It makes me sick to even think about it.
 

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Manzo said she hopes to know more about how the county might keep the signs and the prohibition next week. Buckley said he’ll be interested to hear what it is.

Typical liberal mentality the female parks manager has. Even in light of the fact that they are violating the "law" she thinks there may be a way around it and will wait to do the "lawful" thing which is to remove the signs. I wish Buckley would file a lawsuit demanding their removal right now, without waiting. It is perfectly clear and the citizens should not be made to wait for some anti-gun county employee and commissioners to get further verification. :aargh4:
Thinking about it. I have standing, but it gets a bit expensive. :smile:
 

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This is something that has bothered me too. The city I live in has no firearms signs posted in the city parks. I just went to the city website and they do have an ordinance listed prohibiting it on the books.
It reads as follows:

§ 94.03 PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES.
C) Firearms and other dangerous instruments. No person, other than an authorized city employee or law enforcement officer, shall bring into any city park any firearm, air gun, pellet gun, spring gun, ammunition, explosive, fireworks, sling shot, cross bow, bow and arrow, or any other device by means of which a projectile can be propelled or any other similar device or substance which may cause injury or property damage,
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

which, to me, is in direct conflict with the State statute:

790.33 Field of Regulation of Firearms and Ammunition Preempted.
(1) PREEMPTION.
Except as expressly provided by general law, the Legislature hereby declares that it is occupying the whole
field of regulation of firearms and ammunition, including the purchase, sale, transfer, taxation, manufacture,
ownership, possession, and transportation thereof, to the exclusion of all existing and future county, city,
town, or municipal ordinances or regulations relating thereto. Any such existing ordinances are hereby declared null and void.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think it's time to send an email to the commissioners and city attorney and see what they have to say.
 

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I sent an email over the weekend and haven't heard back yet, then again it was a holiday weekend. I will follow up with another to the mayor if I don't hear back by Friday, he has always been prompt in replying to emails.
I will have to get over to one of the parks in the next day or so for a photo.
 

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Good to see someone taking these people to task.
 

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Update:
First email to the city sent over Labor day weekend (9/6) went unanswered. They are usually pretty good about responding so I gave them a week and then sent a second one yesterday (9/14), addressed directly to the city manager. He responded within a hour, like a said they are usually very prompt.

He thanked me for the email and said due to the nature of my concern forwarded it to the city attorney for research and will contact me when they have clarification.

I still have to get my lazy butt over to one of the parks with my camera for a picture.

I'm looking forward to hearing back, I will keep you posted
 

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Here is a photo of the sign at one of the parks, they all have the same prohibitions. If you click on the thumbnail weapons is on the bottom right. There is an ordinance on the books as well, so it is beyond jut ignoring a sign.

I still haven't heard back from the city manager or attorney so I will be sending follow up email tomorrow or stopping by city hall for a chat. Seems like they are trying the ol' 'if we ignore it, it will go away' routine but that's not going to happen.

Keep you posted
 

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Here is a photo of the sign at one of the parks, they all have the same prohibitions. If you click on the thumbnail weapons is on the bottom right. There is an ordinance on the books as well, so it is beyond jut ignoring a sign.

I still haven't heard back from the city manager or attorney so I will be sending follow up email tomorrow or stopping by city hall for a chat. Seems like they are trying the ol' 'if we ignore it, it will go away' routine but that's not going to happen.

Keep you posted
I have it Jim. I'll get back to you.
 

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Here is a photo of the sign at one of the parks, they all have the same prohibitions. If you click on the thumbnail weapons is on the bottom right. There is an ordinance on the books as well, so it is beyond jut ignoring a sign.

I still haven't heard back from the city manager or attorney so I will be sending follow up email tomorrow or stopping by city hall for a chat. Seems like they are trying the ol' 'if we ignore it, it will go away' routine but that's not going to happen.

Keep you posted
After reading it there is nothing like a sign that basically says "We don't want you to do anything in our park!"
 

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You tell 'em Sarge.......

Is this the Buckley of "Golstein, Buckley, Sechman, Rice and Purtz"?

Gotta love those catchy jingles they have on their ads.

As for Lee County parks and rec, they are nothing but a bunch of tree huggin, anti-hunting (try hunting on conservation 20/20 land), nanny state, Yankees, who want to turn the real Florida into what they think it should be or make it how it was "up north." They all make me sick. One of the reasons I got out of FL. I got tired of living in occupied territory under the thumb of a bunch of tyrannical transplants from the liberal bastions of New England.
To think that the County is named after Robert E. Lee. (SgtD bows head in reverence, shame, and disgust....slowly wipes moisture from the corner of his eye)
The Florida I (and three generations before me) grew up in is no longer in existance. It makes me sick to even think about it.
Those carpetbaggers need to turn tail and head back north to Kennedy country. :rant:
 
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