In any other year guns might not be high on the packing list for a trip to a Disneyland. But this is not any other year, and Mickey Mouse’s allegiances are shadowy at best.
A Florida man took an AR-15 rifle, a 9mm handgun and a cache of ammo on his Disney World family vacation due to safety concerns sparked by recent anti-racism protests in the state and across the country, according to a report.
The 43-year-old from Palm Beach Gardens checked into Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort in Orlando on Labor Day weekend with his guns and ammo stashed in a tennis bag, according to a newly released report from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office cited by the Orlando Sentinel Tuesday.
The vacationer had a concealed weapons permit and therefore was not arrested “because no laws were broken,” the sheriff’s office said.
Security staff at Disney safely stored the man’s guns for him until the end of his trip.
The weapons were discovered after a bellman handling the bag was surprised by how heavy it was and peeked inside. The bellman reported the firearms stash to his manager who then called police.
When questioned, the man explained to deputies that “he brought the rifle with him for their [his family’s] safety because of the riots and civil unrest going on down south and in the Central Florida area,” the incident report states.
Like many cities across the country, Orlando has seen ongoing Black Lives Matter marches and protests triggered by the May 25 police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota. Regular demonstrations have also taken place near Disney World, after a deputy fatally shot a 22-year-old man outside the Florida Mall on Aug. 7.
Deputies checked the man’s concealed weapon permit to ensure it was valid.
“We then gave [the man] back his firearms and told him we appreciated his cooperation,” the sheriff’s office said.
The man certainly hadn’t stinted on ammo to accompany his holiday guns, taking three rifle magazines with 90 rounds total and two 9mm magazines with 20 rounds total, the news outlet reported.
Disney World has a strict ban on visitors bringing weapons onto its property.
“Our policy is clear that guns or weapons of any kind are not allowed at our resort regardless of whether someone has a permit,” Disney spokeswoman Andrea Finger told the Orlando Sentinel.