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Thread: After protesting gun rule, Disney guard is fired

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    Scott Powers | Sentinel Staff Writer
    July 8, 2008
    Walt Disney World fired a security guard on Monday after he protested the company's decision not to allow people with concealed weapons permits to keep guns in their cars on Disney property.

    Disney terminated Edwin Sotomayor, 36, of Orlando for violating three Disney employee policies, essentially for failing to cooperate with an internal investigation, said spokeswoman Zoraya Suarez. Sotomayor vowed to continue his fight.

    At issue is Florida's new law that allows people with concealed weapons permits to keep firearms in their vehicles in employee parking lots.

    Disney advised its employees late last month that the theme-park resort is exempt from that state law, and that they may not bring firearms onto the property. Disney stated that its gun policy is based on safety concerns for visitors and employees.

    Sotomayor alerted local media last week that he intended to challenge Disney's claim of an exemption to the new law by bringing a gun to work, locked in his vehicle. When he showed up for work at Disney's Animal Kingdom on Friday, he declined to let Disney authorities search his car. Disney suspended him pending an investigation, then fired him Monday.

    Sotomayor expressed distress about the end of his 13-year career at Disney, but not regret. He said he expects the security guards' union, Security Police & Fire Professionals of America Amalgamated Local 603, to challenge his termination, and he intends to continue his own challenge of Disney World's gun policy.

    "I am not going to stop this fight," he said. "This is going to end somewhere good."

    The security guards' union, Local 603, would not comment, referring inquiries to Disney World.


    Scott Powers can be reached at spowers@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-5441.
    If you click on the OPs link, there's a poll. Be sure you hit it.

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    Currently, the poll is over 80% pro-carry.
    If the public are bound to yield obedience to laws to which they cannot give their approbation, they are slaves to those who make such laws and enforce them.--Samuel Adams as Candidus, Boston Gazette 20 Jan. 1772

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Edit: Didn't refresh and repeated a prior comment.

    I'm not sure that everyone here is going to disagree with Disney's position. It is a debatable matter of personal rights over property rights.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    OK, so Disney thinks they are above state laws??????

    What the h*ll's going on in this country? The SCOTUS rules on Heller, and the ACLU says "we disagree with the ruling".......hey, its the law of the land, your disagreement is irrelivent. Now the Mouse House says they are above state law, and corporate policy supercedes it?????

    F*ck 'em, I hope they have to pay out six figures to him and are forced to accept state law.

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    Regular Member AZkopper's Avatar
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    deepdiver wrote:
    It is a debatable matter of personal rights over property rights.
    No its not. Its state law in Florida now.

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    Voted

    Yes. All other employees are able to. (13232 responses)

    80.5%

    No. It's too dangerous for visitors. (3049 responses)

    18.6%

    Not sure (147 responses)

    0.9%

    • 16428 total responses

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    deepdiver wrote:
    Edit: Didn't refresh and repeated a prior comment.

    I'm not sure that everyone here is going to disagree with Disney's position. It is a debatable matter of personal rights over property rights.
    You're exactly right. The vehicle is the employee's property, not Disney's. Disney has no right to tell him what he can or cannot have inside his vehicle.

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    What some people do not know is that Disney aka Reedy Creek Improvement District is their own government. They have their own executive and legislative forms of government. They rule by Dictatorship so they have no need for a judicial branch. Everyone not just the folks in Florida need to stand up and pay attention to this.

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    kenny wrote:
    What some people do not know is that Disney aka Reedy Creek Improvement District is their own government. They have their own executive and legislative forms of government. They rule by Dictatorship so they have no need for a judicial branch. Everyone not just the folks in Florida need to stand up and pay attention to this.
    Explain more (and cite), please? I was wondering about "Disney's claim of an exemption to the new law"...

    Isn't there preemption in Flordia anyway?



    ETA: And I'm thinking it probably would have been better for the former employee to let them search his car. As it stands now, he could probably be fired for refusing to allow a search. If they had searched the car, and they had found the gun, it would have made for a better case, IMO.

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    The new Florida law contains an exemption for businesses that have a license to store or use explosives. Disney has a license due to the large number of fireworks they use. Comments made by the legislators who wrote the bill seem to indicate that they did not specifically mean for Disney to be exempted by this provision.

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    thorvaldr wrote:
    The new Florida law contains an exemption for businesses that have a license to store or use explosives. Disney has a license due to the large number of fireworks they use. Comments made by the legislators who wrote the bill seem to indicate that they did not specifically mean for Disney to be exempted by this provision.
    IIRC the exemption in the law is only for businesses whose PRIMARY business is the storage or use of explosives.

    If Disney can prove that their primary business is storing and setting off fireworks, then the exemption would apply.

    However, most people probably spend 8 to 10 hours in the park and spend 20 minutes or so of that watching the fireworks.

    Some people don't even stay for the fireworks.

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Let me clarify my earlier comment, ie "I'm not sure that everyone here is going to disagree with Disney's position. It is a debatable matter of personal rights over property rights."

    I was not saying that I support Disney's position. When I made the comment I was thinking about the poll question at the link and the earlier rather long, spirited discussion we had on OCDO about the proposed law. Several people argued that the law infringes on the employer's property rights. Most of us made the "your car being your personal property and your safety to and from work trump the employer's property rights." My above comment in this thread was more thinking out loud about how OCDO members might vote in the poll and who would support the employee and who would support Disney's employer private property rights. Just wanted to clarify my position.

    Personally, now that it is the state law, I think personal opinion is irrelevant and I am most curious on what basis Disney claims to be exempted from a state statute. And for the record, I supported the then proposed FL state law in the aforementioned thread.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    falcon1 wrote:
    Currently, the poll is over 80% pro-carry.
    [*]
    Should Disney employees with concealed-weapons permits be allowed to keep their guns in their cars while at work?

    Yes. All other employees are able to. (15740 responses)

    81.8%

    No. It's too dangerous for visitors. (3339 responses)

    17.4%

    Not sure (163 responses)

    0.8%

    • 19242 total responses (Results not scientific)



    Disney thinks they are ABOVE the Law cuz they have a pretty decent influence to the FL financial status.

    They believe $$$ talks

    I say..............................P!$$ OFF. Screw 'em

    TJ

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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    kenny wrote:
    What some people do not know is that Disney aka Reedy Creek Improvement District is their own government. They have their own executive and legislative forms of government. They rule by Dictatorship so they have no need for a judicial branch. Everyone not just the folks in Florida need to stand up and pay attention to this.
    Explain more (and cite), please? I was wondering about "Disney's claim of an exemption to the new law"...

    Google it and you will find your answers. To many it is common knowledge, sorry the word had not made it to you. The Internet is a wonderful if you only learn how to use it.

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    *

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    Decoligny wrote:
    thorvaldr wrote:
    The new Florida law contains an exemption for businesses that have a license to store or use explosives. Disney has a license due to the large number of fireworks they use. Comments made by the legislators who wrote the bill seem to indicate that they did not specifically mean for Disney to be exempted by this provision.
    IIRC the exemption in the law is only for businesses whose PRIMARY business is the storage or use of explosives.

    If Disney can prove that their primary business is storing and setting off fireworks, then the exemption would apply.

    However, most people probably spend 8 to 10 hours in the park and spend 20 minutes or so of that watching the fireworks.

    Some people don't even stay for the fireworks.
    Obviously the intention of the law was to exempt businesses whose primary function is storing and using explosives. (Though I don't know why a gun in your trunk is more dangerous at the dynamite factory than it would be at the post office.) The question that the state of Florida and Disney's lawyers will have to hash out is whether the law is actually worded so that anyone with a fireworks permit can weasel out of it.

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    Wow this guy put his 13 year career on the line over this issue. To much for him to go about his business and just keep a gun in his car and not tell anybody. I have zero sympathy for him.

    Hope his wife has a job with benefits. I disagree with Disney, but I also tend not to **** where I eat. Even my dog knows that.

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    Unclebuck wrote:
    Wow this guy put his 13 year career on the line over this issue. To much for him to go about his business and just keep a gun in his car and not tell anybody. I have zero sympathy for him.

    Hope his wife has a job with benefits. I disagree with Disney, but I also tend not to @#$% where I eat. Even my dog knows that.
    Some people may just think things like doing the right thing, liberty and not being ashamed of either is worth the price. If more people were willing to take a stand and face the hazzards...instead of hiding in dark places and being free only when it is without cost or inconviencience like you portend to do Unclebuck, maybe these situations would go the way of the dodo.

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    Unclebuck wrote:
    Wow this guy put his 13 year career on the line over this issue. To much for him to go about his business and just keep a gun in his car and not tell anybody. I have zero sympathy for him.

    Hope his wife has a job with benefits. I disagree with Disney, but I also tend not to @#$% where I eat. Even my dog knows that.
    I feel pretty much the same way! Apparently he can't keep his mouth shut!!!! So just going about his business without letting some of his co workers know he was carrying in his vehicle is not an option... What they don't know won't hurt.

    I have a friend or two that are cast members....I asked how often they really search your vehicle on a random basis? Very rare is the answer I got...

    By the way....Sea World is allowing employees to leave em in the car and they have a fireworks permit also! Surprise since it is AB.

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    Unclebuck wrote:
    <his opinion>
    After protesting gun rule, Disney guard is fired
    --
    So, I wonder what he guarded "guests" with, in order to protect them in the Disney Disarmament Zone :: "Stop right there, or two 'toons 'll drop a safe on ya!"

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    So he should just sit down, shut up and drink the kool aid? "Give me liberty or ... or not I guess" Thanks, Unclebuck

    But seriously, I don't think that he's done the right thing here and I don't think he'll end up having a lot of legal recourse to fight his termination. I hope his wife has a job with benefits, I hope his union goes to bat for him, and I hope the state of Florida will find some way to establish that the rule of law counts on Disney property, too.

    For now all we can do is hope for the best and BOYCOTT DISNEY

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    kenny wrote:
    imperialism2024 wrote:
    kenny wrote:
    What some people do not know is that Disney aka Reedy Creek Improvement District is their own government. They have their own executive and legislative forms of government. They rule by Dictatorship so they have no need for a judicial branch. Everyone not just the folks in Florida need to stand up and pay attention to this.
    Explain more (and cite), please? I was wondering about "Disney's claim of an exemption to the new law"...
    Google it and you will find your answers. To many it is common knowledge, sorry the word had not made it to you. The Internet is a wonderful if you only learn how to use it.
    If you'll take a look at the second and third sentences in my post, you'll see that my questioning is in reference to whether or not this autonomous government is what provides the "exemption"... but the following post indicates that they may be hiding behind the "fireworks" exemption.

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    News from OCSO Media Relations
    Sheriff’s deputies did not request to search employee’s car for weapons




    News reports stating or implying deputies requested search were inaccurate

    On Friday, July 4th the Orange County Sheriff’s Office responded to a standby call at Walt Disney World in reference to a Disney employee who was believed to be transporting a gun in the trunk of his car on Disney property. Deputies responded to the call for service and upon arrival, at the request of Walt Disney World management, issued a trespass warning to Edwin Sotmayor.



    During an evening newscast a reporter from WKMG TV-6 incorrectly reported that Orange County Deputies “asked to search the car of Edwin Sotomayor.” A reporter covering the same story for WESH TV-2 stated, “They asked him if they could search his vehicle, and when he refused, he was suspended and banned from the property,” implying that Sheriff’s deputies made a request to search Sotomayor’s vehicle.



    At no point did a deputy sheriff request to search Mr. Sotomayor’s vehicle. Deputies were called to the scene by Disney management personnel to maintain order and to issue a formal trespass warning to Mr. Sotomayor at their request.

    http://www.ocins.com/

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