LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Lee County is under fire for posting signs outlawing guns in public parks. A Fort Myers attorney is suing the county, saying the signs are in conflict with state law and only keeping guns out of the hands of the good guys.
J. Patrick Buckley said he's not backing down from suing Lee County, until every sign donning the symbol is fixed.
"I want the county to obey the law, and I want the county to stop misrepresenting where guns cannot be," Buckley said Tuesday.
While you can't carry a gun into a park near a school or airport, the concealed weapon statute allows those with permits to carry in most public parks. Still, many of those parks have signage stating otherwise.
"I don't believe anybody realized it was incorrect, I also think the language in the state statute has changed over time," said Lee County Parks and Recreation Director Barbara Manzo.
The county admits the mistake and plans on making changes to avoid going to court. Still, they stand behind the symbol, saying it promotes public safety.
"I can't imagine any criminal, out to do evil, being persuaded not to do evil because there's a sign with a firearms restriction on it. I think that's silly actually," Buckley said.
As for changing the hundreds of signs...there's no easy fix.
"To take down the signs entirely would cost probably hundreds of thousands of dollars. So our solution is just to add in the language of the statute," Manzo said Tuesday.
The county plans to place stickers at the bottom of signs, citing the concealed weapons law. Buckley says that's not enough.
"To expect the average citizen to know that Section 790 of Florida Statutes regulates concealed carry, I think they're asking for too much," Buckley said.