Commissioners lift ban on concealed weapons at Lee County Parks

Some residents concerned about allowing weapons at youth sporting events

People who have permits to carry concealed weapons can have them at Lee County parks.

Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously passed an amendment to an ordinance that lifted the ban on concealed weapons after a lawsuit against the county pointed out the county's inconsistency with state law.

Park signs will be changed, but one commissioner said the state law should also be changed.

“Having completed the amendment today I don't believe finalized the work that needs to be done,” Commissioner Ray Judah said.

State law prohibits guns at professional sporting events.

“I find it interesting that state legislature said firearms should be prohibited at professional events and school events,” Judah said, but not at youth sporting events, such as little league baseball played at public parks.

A couple of little league officials, and other residents, asked commissioners to include in a ban for concealed weapons anything that included the kids sports activities.

“I'm not against anyone's right to bear arms nor to have a concealed weapons license, I just find it deplorable that it would be allowed at a youth sports event,” Mert Leeman, Florida's district 9 little league administrator.

Howard Gold, president of the South Fort Myers little league, said the organization goes to great pains to ensure safety, such as doing background checks on coaches and safety checks on equipment.

And sometimes Gold has had to come between parents in heated arguments about calls on the field.

“I'm fortunate to say we have not had any serious situations in 10 years, but that possibility also exists,” Gold said.

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