Skip to comments.Disney Employee Suspended After Bringing Gun To Work
Posted on 07/04/2008 9:48:35 PM PDT by stainlessbanner
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- A new state law went on the books Tuesday saying people could bring guns to work if they kept them locked in their car. Disney, though, said it was exempt from the new law and its 62,000 employees needed to keep their guns at home.
Friday, a worker who protested the parks decision told Channel 9 he was suspended.
The worker was well aware that he could end up losing his job when he took the gun to work Friday morning, but said that the principle at stake means enough to him that he was willing to take the risk, especially on the day we celebrate the country and our freedoms.
As he pulled into work, Edwin Sotomayor recorded Sheriffs Deputies and Disney managers waiting for him. After he refused a car search, managers drove Sotomayor to their offices, questioned him further and then sent him to his normal post. Four hours into his shift, Sotomayor says he was suspended.
Disney told employees it is exempt from the new law that allows them to bring a gun to work, because it stores fireworks on site.
Disney told Channel 9 he was suspended because he wouldnt cooperate with their investigation. They also said he could be fired for carrying the gun, which he says is about safety on his ride to work.
Sotomayor says hes willing to be the test case for the new law, even if it means losing his job and going to work.
Disney is investigating the case internally. While Disney employee files are confidential, sources day Sotomayor has been disciplined by Disney in the past. Sotomayor insists he is testing this law on his own and hasnt been contacted by groups like the NRA.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- A Disney security guard told Eyewitness News he's okay with being fired rather than go to work unprotected. Disney claims it's exempt from a new state law that allows employees to keep handguns in their cars.
The employee Eyewitness News talked with is not concerned about safety at the park. He's concerned about a rise in crime everywhere else.
As a security guard, Edwin Sotomayer works strange hours and says he has a right to feel safe when he is commuting to and from the theme parks. He has been a Disney security guard for more than 13 years, but he's willing to lose his job to stand up for his right to bring a gun to work
"I am going to be a test tube of this new law. If I am the first one to get fired at Disney, let it be," he said.
Disney claims it's exempt from a new state law allowing employees to carry guns in their cars because it stores fireworks, but Sotomayer says Disney is violating his rights and he plans to challenge the company Friday by putting his gun in a case and keeping it in his car while he works security at Animal Kingdom.
"It's the law and the law is there to protect me. I hope somebody is listening to me up there too," he said.
Sotomayer said he wants to be able to protect himself from Orlando's growing crime problem
Channel 9 found a 43 percent increase in the number of calls for service to Disney in the last year, but also found the Orange County Sheriff's Office didn't file a report on most of the calls. Deputies said they will not file a report if the incident does not rise to the level of a crime.
Sotomayer said Disney is safe, but Orlando is not, and he has the right to keep a gun in his car so he is protected during his 23-mile commute to and from the theme park.
"The criminals don't care. If they have to kill someone, they will," he said.
Disney told Eyewitness News it respects Sotomayer's opinion, but safety is its top priority and employees who bring guns to work risk getting fired. Sotomayer has already hired an attorney.
He is not the only one who is upset. The NRA and the State Attorney General have also received complaints.
I don’t understand why Disney would care if the gun was in his car. If he straps it on and walks around the park, that would be a little different.
So mickey is worried about rounds cooking off in someone’s car may cause a catastrophic event with their fireworks.
Damn mickey, why sell food, someone may choke.
Glad to know Disney just can declare that state law does not apply to them.
He’s gonna lose this one.
Love that tagline!
does business owner’s rights trump 2BA?
Because, Disney will get themselves labeled a ‘sensitive area’ and according to Heller v. DC that will allow for the restriction of Rights.
It’s only gonna get worse.
this reminds me.....in 1978, I was given a Smith Model 66 stainless .357 magnum that an ex-Mickey employee had “gotten ahold of” from the jungle ride when he worked there in Kissimmee
gave it to my best friend’s mom.
funny to think back now
There probably aren't many businesses that can even claim to "store fireworks". Disney may have had a friendly legislator put that little protection into the new law just for them.
Those were the early days at WDW. I’ve heard they have some pretty tough security cats down there.
The "Mouse" has far more power than people know! They set up their own "Government" (Reedy Creek Improvement District) many years ago. They have PERMANENT "Temporary Flight Restricted" areas, (FAA TFRs) over their parks, etc.
Years ago, they "owned" the local media and could quash any stories which reflected negatively on them (no more).
As for the employee fighting their refusal to comply with state law, it is necessary to have an adversely impacted party to ensure that the lawsuit against them will not be summarily dismissed.
Actually, they arranged for the "last minute" change in the state law which they claim exempts them! They will undoubtedly win any challenge to the existing law (necessitating an amendment in the next legislative session).
Don’t think so. He followed the law with the gun in his locked personal vehicle. Put another way, the gun was inside his property and not on Disney’s.
Let me guess, you’re upset with Heller Vs. Washington D.C. for some reason.
I don’t know about you but I don’t want a gun anywhere near someone who has to listen to “It’s a Small World” all day.
Sure. It limits your rights in your own home and in the public domain.
The NRA newsletter:
FLORIDA: Guns in Parking Lots Law Took Effect Tuesday, July 1! On Tuesday, July 1, House Bill 503 went into effect. Under the new law, any business or employer who violates the constitutional and statutory right of customers or employees to have firearms locked in their private vehicles can now be punished. Also, under this new law, business owners will benefit from immunity from liability if guns stored in vehicles in the businesses parking lot are used to cause harm on the business property. THE LAW APPLIES TO ALL BUSINESSES, ALL CUSTOMERS & EMPLOYEES.
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