Disney Gets Serious About Concealed Carry After Spike In Armed Guests, Deploys Gun-Finding Technology


Disney has seen a spike in concealed carrying guests over the past year, and even with being closed for 4 months, there have been at least 20 people arrested on gun charges. Compare that to just 4 arrests in 2016.

The folks who end up being arrested are doing things illegally, or they have other things going on at the time. They’re either carrying without a permit, or they are violating another law in conjunction with carrying. Example; possession of drugs.

Last July, just three days after the Epcot theme park reopened, a Georgia woman was arrested after park security at the Epcot entrance found a 9mm handgun and a plastic bag of marijuana in her child’s diaper bag, as reported by NBC Miami and other outlets. When Orange County deputies responded, they also found a .45 caliber handgun on the bottom of the diaper bag. The woman was arrested on misdemeanor counts of carrying a concealed weapon and marijuana possession.

via Forbes

Firearms are prohibited on all Disney properties, regardless of the fact that you may have a valid concealed carry permit. Disney doesn’t care. It’s their property, and it’s their rules.

If you are caught with a concealed firearm on Disney property and you have a valid license to carry, you’re not likely to be arrested. If you are asked to leave and refuse, now you’re tresspassing and just asking for trouble. But generally, if they ask you to leave or to put your firearm somewhere off property, you can go about your day at the park.

For the ‘concealed means concealed’ people, don’t get ahead of yourself. More recently, including at Disney Springs, they have deployed new technology that uses A.I. to detect concealed firearms on passing guests. The technology can tell security if you have a firearm on you, and even where it’s located, and all you need you to do is walk past it. It’s likely similar, or identical, to the technology that properties in Las Vegas have implemented to screen guests walking by.

Back to the arrests, let’s be clear that a legal concealed carrier is highly unlikely to be arrested if caught with a concealed firearm on Disney property. You won’t be able to proceed with the firearm, though. Some Disney properties have safe storage locations for folks to leave their firearms while at the park, but that seems like it’s more for the “we caught you with a gun” scenarios.

“Generally speaking, if someone has a valid concealed carry license, they would be afforded the opportunity to put the firearm into safe storage,” a spokesperson for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said via email. “If someone does not have a valid concealed carry permit, they are illegally carrying a firearm and could either be arrested, or the report can be forwarded to the State Attorney’s Office to review, and they can determine whether criminal charges are levied.”

I know of people who have carried inside Disney parks before, being able to get past security. That was years ago, but it was possible. Just as TSA doesn’t have a 100% record at the airport, neither does any location that screens people for firearms and knives.

I’ve also been to Disney Springs on many occasions, a food and retail outdoors location where entry is free, but that was before they implemented the new screening technology.

Whatever a visitor decides to do, do so with the laws in mind. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you would face arrest, ever. Responsibility is one of our most important assets.

About the Author

Brandon is the founder of Concealed Nation and is an avid firearm enthusiast, with a particular interest in responsible concealed carry. His EDC is a Springfield Armory Hellcat OSP, with a Shield Sights RMSC Red Dot, that holds Hornady 165 gr FTX Critical Defense rounds, and rides comfortably in a Vedder Holsters ComfortTuck IWB holster.

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