A Florida man reportedly brought multiple guns to a family vacation at Disney World over fears about nearby Black Lives Matter protesters.
An unnamed 43-year-old man from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida brought an AR-15 assault rifle and a handgun, along with a large amount of ammunition, during a family trip on Labor Day weekend due to fears that his family could be in danger from protesters, according to a report from the Orlando Sentinel.
The paper reports that the man brought the carried the guns in a tennis bag while checking into the Polynesian Village Resort on September 5, citing a police report. The man was said to have a concealed weapons permit and was not arrested since no laws were broken. Regardless, Disney security confiscated his weapons and held them during his stay due to their policy prohibiting weapons.
“Our policy is clear that weapons of any kind are not allowed at our resort regardless of whether someone has a permit,” a Disney spokesperson said in a statement obtained by Newsweek.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office was alerted to the incident after a bellman carrying the man’s unusually heavy bag noticed the guns inside, which prompted his manager to contact police.
The police report states that when questioned by officers about the weapons, the man said that “he brought the rifle with him for their safety because of the riots and civil unrest going on down south and in the Central Florida area,” according to the paper.
Like many areas throughout the country, protests against racial injustice and police brutality have been ongoing in the Orlando area, where Disney World is located. However, no related protests have been reported at the resort itself, nor have resort guests been targeted for any sort of physical attacks by protesters.
Another incident involving weapons occurred in July, when a Georgia woman who did not have a concealed weapons permit was arrested after Disney World security alerted police upon finding two guns and a small amount of marijuana hidden in a diaper bag as she attempted to enter the resort’s Epcot theme park.
Her arrest happened days after Disney World reopened following four months of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the resort opened its doors as cases of the virus were surging in Florida, preventative measures including reducing capacity to 25 percent may have resulted in it not being tied to any major outbreaks.
On Monday, California Governor Gavin Newsom said he was sending a team to Florida to discuss preventative measures with an eye towards eventually reopening California theme parks. Disneyland has remained closed since the start of the pandemic due to public health concerns.