In an exclusive interview, State Sen. Greg Evers, R-Baker, has shared with the IN his plans to propose in 2012 legislation that will legalize gun vending machines.
“As silly as it may sound, people can buy soda and candy from vending machines, but not handguns,” said Evers. “This fixes that problem. While some gun haters may not want to remove this needless restriction, none of them argue about condoms or stuffed animals being sold through vending machines. Florida is playing catch-up here.”
The legislation, which is expected to win favor among gun rights activists, hunting enthusiasts and mall arcades, is eyed warily by many law enforcement officials and mall food-court vendors.
“It’s a nightmarish managerial problem,” said Tomas Slick, manager of Poppie’s Dots and Dips at Ave Maria Mall in Calhoun County. “It’s one of those things where, obviously, there is emotion and concern; but traditionally, inherently, food courts are a very safe place–until the ice cream runs out.”
According to the Brady Campaign, 46 states allow open carry, but none have gun vending machines. Evers wants Florida to be the first. “The only rationale the spokesperson for that national gun control/gun ban organization give for opposing my bill is that ‘It is frightening to see people buying loaded weapons while getting their soda and Snickers,’” said Evers.
“I suppose it probably is particularly frightening to criminals who are afraid of being shot if they try to rob a person or a store knowing that a citizen can buy a loaded gun in a nearby vending machine.”
Evers said that law-abiding people who are afraid of guns can simply walk away from the machines. “My bill should actually make them feel better because they can walk away knowing little Tommy has got their back, if he has a credit card for the machine,” said Evers.
The lawmaker wasn’t concerned that criminals could use the vending machines, too. “Gun haters will always find a reason to oppose sensible legislation,” said Evers.
Read our other April 1 News Stories.