Off-duty employee fired for carrying gun at Disney Springs says he was treated ‘like a criminal'

By: Ken Tyndall

Updated:

ORLANDO, Fla. - A foreman in the Disney transportation department who was fired last month for carrying a concealed weapon at Disney Springs on his day off is questioning if the company violated his Second Amendment rights.

Sam Martinez had worked at Disney for five years until the day he went with his wife to Disney Springs to see a movie and do some shopping.

He has a concealed carry permit and was carrying his gun during the Nov. 13 trip.

Somehow security officers realized Martinez was carrying a weapon, despite that fact that it was under his shirt, and confronted him.

“I exit a store (and) I’ve got sheriffs around me, I’ve got security around me,” he said. “I was treated pretty much like a criminal.”

He showed the deputies and security officers his concealed-carry permit and at first they asked him to leave the property.

When they realized he was a Disney employee, everything changed.

“(They said), ‘You can’t have that here, and you can’t be a Disney employee and be carrying. It’s against our policies,’” Martinez said. “Well, I had never been informed of that.”

He was immediately suspended for 19 days, at which point he was fired.

Handgun policies at Disney theme parks are clear, but Martinez said there were no signs at Disney Springs saying he couldn’t carry his gun.

He argues that he was legally carrying a weapon on his day off, and questions if Disney has the right to fire him over the incident.

“It’s a Second Amendment right for me to carry legally,” Martinez said. “I did everything legally and now it’s almost like I’m being punished for it.”

Since his firing, Martinez learned that employees are prohibited from bringing weapons onto any Disney property.

Had he known that ahead of time, Martinez said he would not have been carrying his gun.

A Disney representative declined to comment on Martinez’s firing because it is a personnel matter.

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