2 Weeks After Virginia Beach, Fort Myers Councilman Eyes Guns on Job

Should public officials, employees be allowed to have guns at work? (Dave Workman)

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- Two weeks after the tragedy at Virginia Beach where a dozen people were killed in a city building, a city councilman in Fort Myers has raised a question about public officials having guns on the job in that Florida city, according to the Fort Myers News Press.

The subject was reportedly scheduled for conversation Monday. Councilman Johnny Streets, described as a retired Fort Myers police officer, has a carry license, and something of a dilemma. State statute prohibits guns in government buildings, the newspaper said.

Virginia Beach public employees cannot carry guns inside government buildings, but that didn’t stop a co-worker who apparently had submitted his resignation hours before from walking into the building with two legally-owned handguns and opening fire. The shooter, who was subsequently killed by responding police, had been employed as an engineer with the city.

Back in Florida, Streets reportedly is wondering whether he can carry a handgun when he is on official business outside of city hall.

“A lot of the time,” Streets was quoted as stating, “we are attending meetings in our official capacity that are not at city hall. I am looking for feedback maybe from our appointed or elected officials to see how they feel, at least they should have the option.”

It is an interesting situation not limited to Florida or Virginia. Across the country, in state capitol or state office buildings, municipal buildings and other public venues, elected officials and public employees are conscious of potential on-the-job dangers.

In Wisconsin, a firefighter was fatally shot and a police officer wounded last month when they responded to what began as an aid call that turned into a shooting. A man identified as Ruben Houston was on a bus traveling to Wausau when he was “found unresponsive on the bus,” according to ABC News. After he was reportedly given two shots of Narcan, Houston stood up and began moving away, telling officers that his cell phone was responsible for a “bulge” in his clothing. He then drew a .380-caliber pistol and opened fire, fatally wounding Appleton Fire Department firefighter Mitch Lundgaard.

Last week, Outagamie County District Attorney Melinda Tempelis cleared two police officers, Sgt. Christopher Biese and Officer Paul Christensen, for returning fire and killing Houston.
Police officers carry guns, but other public employees don’t. Streets, the Fort Myers councilman, has broached a subject that may make other public officials queasy.

Streets is hardly the only public official who is licensed to carry. There are state legislators, members of Congress, local municipal and county officials in the mix as well.

It doesn’t always work well. Last month in Buffalo, N.Y., a member of the Buffalo Common Council brought a loaded handgun to a local high school, and then asked the principal of the school to put it in his office, according to WGRZ news. That council member, identified as Ulysees Wingo, has stepped down as chairman of the education committee and will not be allowed to attend school events or set foot on school property. The principal was placed on administrative leave, the story noted.

Wingo reportedly explained that he carries a firearm for personal protection.

About Dave WorkmanDave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

  • 16 thoughts on “2 Weeks After Virginia Beach, Fort Myers Councilman Eyes Guns on Job

    1. I reside in Fort Myers, Florida and know Councilman Streets very well. Don’t let the “former police officer” title fool you; Streets is a flaming Liberal who represents a city ward that is marked with extreme violence where his constituents shoot each other at an alarming rate on a daily basis. Streets wants to carry his firearm while denying most others. He is a typical Liberal hypocrite.

    2. well well well. when it pertains to their safety it is all important. the rest of us can go pound sand according to them. i say they need to be on their own and let the chips fall where they land

    3. It is a different story when they begin to think they might be in danger. It is ok for the average, honest citizen to be disarmed and unable to defend himself but they sure draw the line when it comes to them. Just one more example of the two tier system we have, one for we subjects and one for the elites.

    4. Re, Wisconsin/Milwaukee
      A private road contractor’s employee was photographed showing off his carry gun. The city counsel then promptly outlawed private contractors from carrying. A criminal was just recently convicted of murder for killing a city building inspector while he was sitting in his city vehicle doing paperwork. Killer thought he was undercover cop. OOPPS! So go figure, the city cant keep their own people safe yet they wish to jeopardize everyone on the streets working in the worst areas of town.

    5. Virginia law generally allows the public to carry guns inside state and locally controlled premises, i.e., to attend a city, county, or state meeting that is open to the public. Open carry does not require a license in many or most circumstances.

      Learn more at OpenCarry.org. And carry on!

      1. Michael, yes, in Virginia private citizens, including the elected delegates and senators, still have the right to carry in those places. That is, except if those private citizens are employed by either the state or local government, then employment policies restrict that right. That is why that building in Virginia Beach was called a GFZ – the employees are not allowed to carry.

        Every Virginian that believes in our rights needs to be at the Capital on July 9. Also please contact your state representatives and tell them that you do not support any “gun control” schemes and request they do the same.

    6. I am ultimately responsible for my safety. If I give up that right it means I must rely on someone that may, or may not enter the building when shots are being fired. This does not make me feel safe because if I am unlucky enough to be shot at, the I might also be left to die by a scared protector.

    7. This raises a good question. Recently I considered becoming a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate). This is a volunteer position in which trained volunteers appointed by a court act as advocates for children at risk. I’m a retired Auxiliary Police Sgt,, I was licensed by NY to teach Social Studies and worked in schools and administration for 7 years, I had a MS in Counseling and School Administration. I’m currently retired and could devote all the time necessary to do the job. The ideal candidate for this program. BUT!! I have a concealed carry permit and carry a firearm. This would create a conflict because much of my work would be in courts and public buildings where I could not carry a firearm. Also it is unlikely that CASA employment rules would allow me to carry a firearm while doing the job. A job which might put me in contact with angry, frustrated, anxious families. The very type of situation which is most dangerous for police, the Domestic Disturbance call. Well, I guess it is CASA’s loss.

      1. I think it might be a good job opportunity, but you may need to have a period of time to understand how and when to act in the new environment.

        In many cases you will be able to blend in over time provided you can keep your “Copness” on the down low – its like retiring from the military and then becoming a public or private servant – two different ways of life in the work place.
        It can be hard to change…

    8. Florida state law should be amended to allow licensed municipal government workers to carry arms. The current law enables shooters and disables the good guys from responding in kind. But hey, all gun laws are ignored by the criminals. Laws are only followed by the law abiding. Except when the Communists take the White House and both houses of Congress. Then tyranny unseen since the Revolutionary war will once again oppress the citizens with guns.

      1. Trump said on Piers Morgan to ignore gun control if it infringed upon a citizens right to protect themselves that criminal don’t obey it so why should we and I do not believe this statement makes him a criminal nor does it any other American. Gun control is criminal not self defense.

      2. There should be no law restricting ANY law abiding citizen from carrying. Courtrooms are guarded and firearms should be checked in these locations for audience members but as far as I am concerned All citizens are responsible for their own protection and should be allowed to conduct that protection however they see fit…

        1. And if they aren’t law abiding then shoot the mfers and be done with em. All this crying to mommy is why we now have tyranny. I’m so mean the police refuse to come when I call. They hang up. I have them trained. Take a lesson.

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