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Florida State Fair Allows Guns On Grounds

By Allison Mondell, CBS Tampa
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Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images.

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images.

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TAMPA, Fla. (CBS Tampa) –  Persons with concealed weapons permits can now bring their firearms into the Florida State Fair.

The change took place Sunday after two gun rights groups, Florida Carry Inc. and Florida NRA,  complained to the State Agriculture Commission.  One member of Florida Carry was not admitted into the fair on Saturday because he carried a firearm.

According to Florida law, local governments are prohibited from enforcing gun control laws.  The state law has existed for 25 years, but was rarely enforced because local officials faced few penalties if found in violation of the law.

Last year, Florida lawmakers passed a new law to ensure penalties were in place.  Now local officials face $5,000 fines and removal from office if they violate the law.

The executive director of the State Fair authority, Charles Pesano, told the Tampa Tribune, “Since I’ve been here, the policy has been not to allow weapons on the fairgrounds just through good common sense.”

The State Fair authority met on Sunday and immediately changed the policy to comply with Florida law.

Signs at the fair now read “No Unlawful Weapons” instead of “No Weapons.”

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