Fort Myers council to discuss public officials carrying guns

A city official in Lee County is proposing some city employees be allowed to carry guns.

Fort Myers City Council is set to discuss allowing certain city employees to carry guns at its regular meeting Monday.

Councilman Johnny Streets is proposing city workers carry guns. He was unavailable for comment Saturday. But it is confirmed the proposal is for anyone with official authority, whether appointed or elected in the city.

This proposal comes after a mass shooting at a municipal building in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where police say a disgruntled employee killed 12 people and injured five.

MORE: Gunman, 12 victims identified in Virginia Beach shooting

“You have to look at the different layers of security that should be in place in all of our public buildings, including schools,” firearm instructor Tony Cucchiaro said. “But also looking at if those measures aren’t truly enforced … you can go around them pretty easily.”

Cucchiaro firmly believes city council members should carry concealed weapons. As a firearms instructor, he knows exactly what goes into getting a gun license.

“There’s a certain amount of training you’re going to go through as well as in learning how to use a weapon,” Cucchiaro said. “Your weapon, as well as range time.”

While others like Von Young agree people have the right to protect themselves, he’s concerned about the outcome of firearms being readily available to council members during emotionally-charged meetings.

“If you got the proper training and permit it’s fine and all right,” Young said. “[But] they have a tendency to kind of get emotionally involved in things, and people who get emotionally involved are a little volatile.”

Young said he would be afraid to voice his opinion.

“I know that If I attended a city council meeting, and I thought if the city council was packing, I might not be so expressive in sharing my views with that,” Young said.

The council meeting begins at 4:30 p.m. and is open to the public and will have a public hearing portion at city hall.

Reporter:Morgan Rynor
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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