First there was a dry-ice bomb at Disneyland, now, a loaded gun at Disney World? When a grandma and her grandson boarded a ride in Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom, they weren't expecting this kind of thrill when a loaded gun was found on her seat.
The woman immediately reported the gun to a park attendant. It was later discovered that the gun's owner had a valid concealed weapons permit and didn't realize that his gun had fallen out of his pocket when he was on a supposedly bumpy ride.
What the gun owner also didn't know was whether or not guns are actually allowed at amusement parks. Are they?
Aiming for Safety
It's a fair question, especially considering that there were no signs stating that guns weren't allowed at Disney World. Nor was there any kind of metal detector that he (or any other patron) walked through before entering the park.
Under many state laws, guns could actually be allowed at amusement parks. For example, Florida's gun laws explicitly list a number of places where concealed firearms aren't allowed. Some off-limit areas include courthouses, schools, and airports.
Amusement parks, however, aren't on that list. So, as long as the firearm isn't hoisted on your shoulder or obviously out in the open like you're planning to attack Donald or Mickey, you should be fine, right?
Guns Prohibited at Disney World
No. Because amusement parks like Disney World are private entities, they are free to impose and enforce their own security procedures and requirements, law enforcement sources told reporters. Therefore, a Disney patron who gets caught with a gun in the park could be charged with firearms trespass in Florida. It's a similar situation in many other states too.
It's not only common sense then, that guns aren't allowed at the happiest place on Earth. The park's policy is also backed by the law.
- Theme park security comes under scrutiny following gun discovery (Fox News)
- State Gun Control Laws (FindLaw)
- Are Guns Allowed in Movie Theaters? (FindLaw's Blotter)
- How to Get a Refund from Disneyland Disaster (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)