Orlando, Fla. – Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer says state law prevents him from making the area a gun-free zone as he calls for increased security protocols in downtown Orlando after seven people were shot and injured last weekend.
“If I had the ability to say downtown is a gun-free zone, I would do that tomorrow, but I don’t have that ability,” Dyer said at a news briefing on Monday.
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After News 6 asked Dyer for clarification on the state law in question, the city said Florida Statute 790.33 – Firearms and Ammunition Control Area – Firearms and Firearms is a state law that sets regulations on guns and limits on how many. Cities can enforce the specified regulations.
“Mayor Dyer believes local governments know best how to best meet the needs of our communities, residents and businesses,” his office said in a statement. Unfortunately, the state has failed to enact policies that protect our residents from gun violence.
There will be some new security measures in the wake of the shooting, in which a gunman, who deputies are searching for, opened fire into the crowd early July 31.
Dyer said access checkpoints will be in place on Friday and Saturday nights to limit how people get into downtown. The city says customers must go through metal detectors and weapons checks at these checkpoints before they can enter the areas.
“I feel like anything we can do to make sure downtown is safe, we’re all for it,” said Owen Siah, co-owner of Shakai Sushi Lounge in downtown Orlando. “If downtown is a gun-free zone, I think that’s great.”
He said downtown safety is key. His business is two blocks from the area near South Orange Street and Wall Street Plaza where the shooting happened.
Dyer said he was like many downtown business owners who were happy to hear the city would start implementing these security checks by Friday.
“Why does it take so many (shootings) for something to happen? This should have happened months ago,” Siah said.
Siah, however, thinks the city has done a good job of listening to the concerns of downtown businesses.
The Orlando Police Department is still searching for the shooter and a portal is open for anyone with information, video or images to help with the investigation. Find the link to the portal below.
Approximately our community members who were in the area of Wall St. and Orange Ave. on 7/31 at 2pm to provide information about this event.
Follow the link 👇 to submit any photos/videos that may help our investigators. https://t.co/sdT9VW31Ci
— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) August 1, 2022
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