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Seminole tax collector to allow employees to openly carry firearms


Seminole tax collector to allow employees to openly carry firearms - Naples Gun School FFL Sales

ByOrlando Sentinel  June 28, 2017 3:55pm

Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg soon will allow his employees to openly carry firearms, particularly those workers who seize property such as desks, chairs, computers, file cabinets and phones from tax-delinquent businesses.

“When we go out and seize property, we don’t know what could happen,” Greenberg, who was elected last year after promising to “modernize” the office, said Wednesday. “I’m a big believer in the Second Amendment, and this is mainly to protect our staff, our customers, and to serve as a deterrent.”

Under the new policy, certain employees with concealed-weapons permits also will be allowed to carry a firearm openly as a security measure at branch offices. Employees handle large amounts of cash from residents, “and we don’t have any security,” he said.

Greenberg recently sent a letter to Seminole Sheriff Dennis Lemma and the seven police chiefs in the county to notify them of the policy. Greenberg pointed out that according to state law, he and his employees are considered “revenue officers” and therefore exempt from Florida’s ban on the open carrying of firearms while performing their duties.

Greenberg estimated his office will save about $350,000 a year by not hiring a private security company to accompany deputy tax collectors to seize property or staff branch offices, where scores of residents walk in daily to renew their vehicle registrations, obtain hunting or fishing licenses or apply for concealed-weapons permits.

Fifteen to 20 of his employees will be allowed to openly carry a firearm, Greenberg said. Most will be field officers who are responsible for seizing property from owners to satisfy their unpaid tangible personal property-tax bills.

“We wouldn’t force them [employees], but I can’t imagine that they wouldn’t want to,” Greenberg said. “But anybody who does come aboard is going to have the proper training. And we expect people to act extremely professionally.”

Tangible personal property is nearly everything besides real estate that is used by a business, most organizations or a rental property. It includes computers, machines, signs, supplies, desks, chairs and trucks.

Tangible-property owners must file a tax return by April 1 every year. After that, they would be in default and be subject to fines based on a percentage of the assessed value of the property. The Tax Collector’s Office can also obtain a court order to seize the property or tap into the owner’s bank account to recoup the unpaid taxes.

In the past, the Seminole Tax Collector’s Office has tried to work with the property owners to encourage them to pay their outstanding tax bills. Greenberg said his office will continue doing that. However, some owners will delay their payments for months on end without making an effort to settle the bills.

“We’re trying to be more proactive,” Greenberg said. “The last thing we want to do is go in and shut down a business. It’s a fine line. It’s a sensitive area.”

Greenberg, who took office in January, said the Tax Collector’s Office didn’t have any seizures last year. As of Wednesday, the office had 75 outstanding tax warrants issued in circuit court.

Eddie Ayala, a spokesman for Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph, said his office only has one or two seizures of business property a year. However, after the economic collapse, field service officers conducted 15 to 20 seizures a year.

“They can’t recall any situation where they felt threatened or uneasy about approaching a business or home,” Ayala said. “It’s not like they’re kicking down doors.”

The Lake County Tax Collector’s Office for several years has hired a private firm to conduct seizures. Before then, David Jordan, who is now chief deputy tax collector, said a deputy sheriff would often accompany him to seizures at a cost of $30 per hour. That cost is passed along to the delinquent taxpayer.

“They were there to keep the peace, in case anything got sideways,” Jordan said. “But there’s all kinds of other remedies. You can garnish people’s bank accounts, and you don’t need a gun to do that. … But it’s pretty disconcerting to show up to a business with a court order to take people’s stuff.”

Many who are in arrears are businesses that have closed, although that doesn’t relieve them of their tax bill. Lake County Tax Collector Bob McKee said his office will work with people who have unpaid tangible taxes, including putting them on a payment plan.

“The idea is to keep them in business but make them pay,” he said.

As in Lake, the Osceola County Tax Collector’s Office contracts with a private company to conduct seizures, and those employees don’t carry firearms.

Even so, Greenberg said he is looking for ways to save taxpayers money and provide security for the public and his staff.

“At the end of the day, this is to bring in more revenue and saving taxpayers their money by not hiring an outside firm,” Greenberg said.


Source: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/93975894-132.html

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Dave is extremely thorough & helpful with gun laws & Safety. A must for anyone before putting a weapon in your hands. I have not handled a weapon in a few years and Dave made me feel very comfortable with his extensive knowledge,support & patience. I would definitely recommend this class. Thanks Dave & Ginny For A Great Day! Carmine D’Ambra

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Naples Gun School - 5 stars Great class!! There was a lot more hands on instruction than the class that I had in Tennessee. David was knowledgeable and entertaining. Good insights on Florida law. My wife will be taking the class shortly. Thanks David. Kevin 9/15/2018

  I thoroughly enjoyed the concealed weapons class on 8/11/18. The class went beyond my expectations. Dave you are an awesome instructor and made the class fun. I would highly recommend Naples Gun Shopping and School! Thanks for sharing your knowledge! - Teresa Cannon

David is an excellent instructor. The class is excellent and exceeded my expectations with information on the laws of Florida, and as well to carry properly, load the weapons as well as placement of holding weapons. If your looking to buy a weapon he is the man to go to. I personally bought my firearm from. - Carlos Casiano

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Naples Gun School - 5 stars  This was a very good class. I did not have to take it, as I am a Veteran, however it is a good idea. I learned a lot about Florida Law I did not know. It will in the long run help keep you out of trouble. David was very patient with my wife when we live fired, because she has arthritis and had a hard time pulling the trigger in double action mode. Good Job David thanks so much..Joseph Hohenthaner

Naples Gun School - 5 stars  The class was engaging and as fast paced as it can be. The instructor was knowledgeable and worked well with a class spanning all the levels of experience and age you can imagine. I also felt it was fairly priced, especially as you just had to bring yourself and an ID - all other supplies were, er, supplied.Cliff Elam 

Naples Gun School - 5 stars  Naples Gun Shop & School gets an A+ in my book! David and Ginny were great. I took the CWP class today 7/21/18. Both are extremely knowledgeable and easy to talk to. David is one of the best instructors that I have had the pleasure of meeting. I highly recommend Naples Gun Shop & School. Best prices, Great training, and easy to deal with. I will definitely be returning to do further business. Thank you David & Ginny....see you soon!Nicholas Lupo

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I really enjoyed the class yesterday, and it was very nice to meet David and Ginny. David is very knowledgeable, helpful, and best of all: has a sense of humor. I was more nervous than I thought I would be because this was the first time in my life that I've ever shot a semi-automatic weapon. David lives and breathes this stuff and his presence and ease with weapons was very calming for me when I was at the range. Ginny was also very supportive throughout the whole class. Thank you guys so much! It's a pleasure and I will be back to purchase supplies from you! - Shenandoah Webb

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Naples Gun School - 5 stars I’d like to thank The Naples Gun School for the time and effort they took in order to help me become a more responsible hand gun owner. By taking your CCWP class on 3.31.2018, I’m honestly a better person today than I was yesterday. Your course is not only interesting, but informative as well. The time we had together flew by. Throughout the whole process, they were calm and patient with every student. Especially after everyone seemed to drop their cartridges on the floor during the revolver training portion of the program. I highly recommend Naples Gun School to anyone that’s interested in becoming a CCWP holder. And I definitely will use their services by purchasing all my gun needs through their establishment. David & Ginny, thank you so much. I had a wonderful time!Chris Shaffer

Naples Gun School - 5 stars This class kept me very interested, informed and didn’t even realize 4 hours went by! Would recommend everyone to take this class! - Douglas Shaffer

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