Sarasota City Manager, Commissioners just can’t leave our guns alone

From the Sarasota City Commission’s Proposed 2018 Legislative Priorities for the City of Sarasota:

Weapons Access: SUPPORT legislation restricting the access of guns and weapons to minors, mentally unstable individuals and individuals who by law should not have access or possession of any type of weapon. For example, a weapon or gun must be secured (i.e. i.e. locked in a box or locked in a trunk) and not on or under a seat in an unlocked vehicle allowing criminals to have access to them.

A couple of issues …

First, we already have laws designed to keep firearms out of the hands of minors, the mentally ill and “individuals who by law should not have access or possession of any type of weapon” — i.e.  convicted felons.

Is the city commission saying we need more laws specifically written to keep firearms out of the hands of folks who cannot legally possess firearms anyway?


That’s kind of like saying we need additional statutes prohibiting murder or theft or robbery — which I’m reasonably certain are already illegal acts.

I’m confused.

And, in my humble opinion, the last one of their “legislative priorities” has the highest suck factor — telling firearms owners how to store their weapons is bunk. It will be an epic fail.

Please, commissioners, just leave gun owners alone.

This reminds me of the last time the commissioners tried to regulate firearms.

It was June 2016 when the commissioners announced plans for a resolution asking Congress and/or the Florida Legislature to “strictly limit the availability and use of military grade-high capacity assault weapons to bona fide law enforcement agencies and to do so with the sense of urgency and commitment which is warranted in the face of the ongoing, tragic and unnecessary loss of life triggered by mass shootings with high powered, military grade, high capacity magazine assault weapons.

The commissioners’ own attorney shot the resolution down, hard.

He told them in no uncertain terms that asking the legislature to regulate arms through a resolution is tantamount to regulating arms — a violation of Florida’s preemption statute, which states that only the legislature can regulate arms.

Since they’re elected officials, if the commissioners violated preemption, they were told, they’d could each be fined $5,000 and removed from office.

The commissioners were led to the edge of the cliff by their employee — Sarasota City Manager Thomas Barwin — who harbors extreme anti-gun views.

Evidently, Barwin and the city commissioners didn’t learn their lesson last year.

Now, it seems, they just can’t leave well enough alone.

Kind of reminds me of a song …



About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.


  1. I have a suggestion or the City manager and his commissioners. Be effective in catching and prosecuting the criminals. Then he and gun owners will not have to fear that criminals will steal their guns. All without unnecessary restrictions on legal gun owners.

Leave A Reply