Brevard County passes law allowing permit holders to carry weapons in government complex
VIERA, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Roger Gangitano rents out the Brevard County Commission chambers as a space for his members to hold their monthly meetings. "Once a month we hold our meetings here, Act for America focuses it's attention against radical Islam," Gangitano said.
Up until now, he and his members who have concealed carry permits still weren't allowed to carry a firearm in the building because of the county's law. "The old law was that, you were not allowed to bring a firearm into the county commission, meetings and or the building," said Brevard Commissioner Curt Smith.
At Tuesday’s Brevard County Commission meeting, Gangitano stood before commissioners arguing that state law says that, while you cannot bring a firearm to a commission meeting, concealed carry permit holders are allowed to carry in the building outside of official meetings. "My request was purely asking the commission, the commissioners to adjust that county policy, and make it no more restrictive than the state statute," Gangitano said.
County commissioners voted unanimously to pass the new law, allowing permit holders to carry inside the Brervard county government center, as long as it's not during a county meeting. "Violent criminals are out there and the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," Smith said.
Meanwhile, as Gangitano prepares for his next meeting, he says his members can feel a sense of safety while inside their county building. "Now, that being the case, they can feel confident that if, they feel they want to carry their weapon, they can, and I think that that's a good thing, and that certainly makes my members feel more confident about security, " Gangitano said.
Surrounding counties like Osceola and Orange counties also follow the state law, but some counties do require permit holders to disclose that they have a weapon when entering the building.