Nearly two years ago, Florida’s Legislature enacted a law that banned any city or county from enforcing gun and ammunition restrictions. This law lifted long-standing ordinances banning weapons in public places, such as parks, beaches and government buildings. It also imposes fines and even threatens to have local officials removed from office if they try to restrict guns in public places.
As Palm Beach County’s constitutional tax collector, I’m concerned this law will jeopardize the safety of our 289 employees and the 4,000 citizens that visit our service centers daily. Anyone with a concealed weapons permit can walk into any of our service centers carrying a loaded gun.
As an elected official responsible for the collection and processing of billions of dollars a year at eight locations, safety is my upmost priority. As a direct result of the legislation, I made a decision to staff armed law enforcement officers at all my service centers. This added security precaution has unnecessarily increased staffing costs by $289,000.
The Florida Senate and House this session have filed bills to ban guns from public buildings and day care centers. It’s important for the safety of all that this legislation be passed and signed into law this year.
Anne M. Gannon
Palm Beach County