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Guns banned at Broward hurricane shelters

Today the Florida House is expected to vote on a bill that would allow people with clean criminal backgrounds to conceal firearms without a permit during emergencies including hurricane evacuations.

When the House debated the bill Wednesday, some legislators including state Rep. Elaine Schwartz, D-Hollywood, and Rep. Kionne McGhee, D-Miami, asked if evacuees could then bring their guns into hurricane shelters. Bill sponsor Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, R-Fort Myers, said that would not be allowed.

We checked in with Miguel Ascarrunz, Broward’s interim emergency management director, about the rules for shelters -- which are all at public schools -- in Broward.

“According to the Broward School Board’s Safety Department, no weapons are allowed on school property, including schools designated as evacuation shelters,” Ascarrunz said in an email.

Depending on the strength of an expected hurricane, up to about 143,000 residents live in a mandatory evacuation  zone in Broward.



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How will it be determined if someone, who does not have a permit, has a clean background, on the spot?

The idea of permits was to have the background check done ahead of time to make sure there was no criminal history - and provide the CCW permit holder to show a card, and avoid having law enforcement having to do background checks during an evacuation.

If you have a weapon and want to take it with you during an evacuation - properly secure it in a locking case, and bring it with you! The lawful way to carry a weapon if you don't want to get your CCW.

This issue is bad - I am a Republican and a CCW permit holder...

Can't take anymore

I have a CCW, too, but would be very concerned about private citizens packing (or having easy access to) their firearms in public emergency shelters. I worked as part of the state Emergency Response Team during the hurricanes of 2004-05 and the shelters were very stressful places. If your happiness depends on your gun, lock it up securely in your car. We don't need any one man militias showing up at the shelters.

Regular Guy

“According to the Broward School Board’s Safety Department, no weapons are allowed on school property, including schools designated as evacuation shelters,”

Actually, STATE LAW prohibits guns on school property, whether you have a concealed carry license or not, so this is actually a non-story

Part of my hurricane preparedness includes a plan to go somewhere other than a gun-free zone for shelter.


So, even though there are laws in place prohibiting guns in these schools/shelters, what's to keep a criminal or one set on murdering, to bring in a weapon and just start shooting the place up? HMMMM? Even in an emergency situation, some deranged fool could take advantage of that. Do you think he would really care if there is a sign stating "Gun Free-Zone"? He'll be thinking, "Target Rich Environment".

Legislators should address real issues

Where is the evidence to support this misguided legislation? I've asked repeatedly of Rep Fitzenhagen's aids who said they would send it and have not received it. I think I know why. Like Stand Your Ground, this legislation may have good intentions, but sadly, has not been thought through and instead creates an environment for another "Trayvon Martin" scenario to occur.

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