Florida coach Dan Mullen may want to stop saying that he has a “no weapons” policy for members of his football team.
Mullen was asked about his team’s purported “no weapons” policy on Thursday. In July, Florida wide receiver Kadarius Toney was pulled over with a loaded AR-15 rifle in the back seat of his car. Toney has not been cited or charged.
The lack of a citation and the apparent legal ownership of the weapon apparently means Toney’s not in violation of Florida’s “no weapons” policy. Because, as Mullen said Thursday, the “no weapons” policy doesn’t prohibit you from having a gun.
‘Really, to me, our no weapons policy is about the education’
“I have a no weapons policy but it’s not like you’re not allowed to have a gun,” Mullen said. “We live in a country where that’s one of your rights. And a lot of people I know have guns in their house to protect their homes and their family.”
“What we do is spend a lot of time with the no weapons is really to educate them on weapons, on having guns and why would you have it, what’s the purpose of having it. To me one of the biggest concerns with a lot of young people today is if you’re going to have a gun, make sure you’re properly trained in knowing how to use it.”
“And that’s one discussion that we’ve had … if you think you need to have a gun for home security, are you trained in using it? Is it a legal gun, do you have a license? Are you qualified? And are you trained in using it? So that what we’re not looking for to me is gun accidents or issues where a gun could maybe cause a bigger problem than if there wasn’t a weapon involved. So it really, to me, our no weapons policy is about the education. It’s when and where would be the appropriate times to have it.”
If you read that quote and wondered how in the world it makes sense, here’s the video of it in our attempt to help you understand what Mullen is trying to say.
It’s not much clearer after watching the video, is it? If the “no weapons” policy is actually a “weapons education” policy than Mullen just needs to come out and say it. Because “no weapons” should actually mean “no weapons.” What Mullen described is definitely not “no weapons.”
The mental gymnastics here are totally avoidable if Mullen was to use a better label. His citation of the Second Amendment is bizarre as well. It doesn’t apply to a weapons policy Mullen would choose to implement for his football players.
Toney said he needed gun to protect himself
The Gainesville Police Department released video Wednesday of Toney’s July 22 traffic stop.
He was pulled over for a seatbelt violation and the gun was found in the back seat. In the video, Toney tells police he had the gun for protection from “locals.”
The traffic stop came approximately two months after seven Florida players — including Toney — allegedly confronted a local gambler with airsoft guns that resembled automatic weapons. According to police, Toney’s airsoft gun had the orange tip painted black so it would resemble a real rifle. The players weren’t charged with a crime but referred for university discipline.
“We were made aware of the incident when it occurred and immediately began following campus protocol,” Mullen said in a July 25 statement after the incident with the gambler was revealed. “This has been an opportunity for us to educate our players about the dangers and negative perceptions that can occur when conflict arises, and how important honesty and good decision making is.”
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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