I can bring my gun to the Florida State Fair.
Like I said, hallelujah!
Following complaints by a gun rights group, and a law passed by the Florida Legislature last year, we can all bring our sidearms to the midway.
“We have changed the policy to comply with the state law – it allows a person with a concealed weapon permit to come in with a firearm,” said Charles Pesano, executive director of the State Fair Authority. “We’ve changed some signs to reflect that.”
Instead of “No Weapons,” the signs throughout the fairgrounds now say, “No Unlawful Weapons.”
How else would one feel safe enough to chew some deep fried bubble gum (one of the new food items at this year’s fair) if you’re not strapped?
How can you enjoy the nutritional value of deep fried mash potatoes if you’re not carrying your glock?
Fairgoers are now permitted to carry firearms after Florida Carry Inc. and Marion Hammer of the Florida NRA complained to state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, said Sean Caranna of Florida Carry, a gun rights group.
“It was brought to our attention, and we quickly determined we wanted to be in compliance with the state law – we acted within minutes.”
It’s the first time in his experience, which covers eight state fairs, that fairgoers have been allowed to carry weapons.
“Since I’ve been here, the policy has been not to allow weapons on the fairgrounds just through good common sense,” Pesano said.
Sure, Mr. Pesano, but how else would someone shoot a rampaging teenager if they aren’t carrying their Springfield Armory 1911 Range Officer semi-automatic pistol, the gun of choice for Clerk of the Court candidate Scott Barrish, who made sure to bring the weapon to the fair on Monday.
As an incident at the Wisconsin State Fair in 2011 demonstrated that, rampaging teenagers are always a possibility. Which is exactly why some believe fairgoers believe they should come armed to the teeth. “Law enforcement can’t be everywhere every single second,” Parrish said.
Right, that’s who I want to trust my safety to. Itchy-trigger-fingered nuts from Thonotosassa.
Fair officials, including Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, are asking for trouble letting folks come armed to what essentially is a very large beer garden with fried food and amusement rides.
But wait, what am I talking about, the fair sounds like a perfect microcosm of the state itself.
Pass the ammo, carnies!
Material from the Tampa Tribune was used in the writing of this post.