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BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA) — Manatee County employees may get the green light on Tuesday to carry guns in the workplace.

The current policy prohibits the “possession, use or threat of use of a deadly weapon” while on county property. A draft of the proposed changes says the county will take “no measure to prohibit any county employee from carrying a concealed weapon.”

Commissioner Kevin Van Ostenbridge previously said, “They have a constitutional right to carry. They have a constitutional right to defend themselves, and they should. These folks want to go home to their families every single night.”

During Tuesday’s regularly scheduled meeting, commissioners will receive a report before potentially voting on the controversial issue.

Commissioner James Satcher previously described the measure as a matter of safety and security.

“I just want it to be for them to know this is not a soft target, you know. I believe gun free zones are criminal empowerment zones,” he said.

When the board brought up the issue in April, some community members voiced concerns about transparency during the process.

“Shame on you for not providing any documents,” Manatee County resident Virginia McCallum said. “Clearly, you are all referring to a draft policy that was not made public — at all, even late, so shame on you.”

Tuesday’s commission meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m.

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