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Florida Man Charged for Trying to Enter Disney World With Handgun, Claims He Forgot It Was in His Backpack

Newsweek logo Newsweek 12/17/2019 Soo Kim
a large waterfall in a garden: A view of the new Pandora: World of Avatar attraction inside Disneys Animal Kingdom in Florida pictured on May 24, 2017. © Getty Images A view of the new Pandora: World of Avatar attraction inside Disneys Animal Kingdom in Florida pictured on May 24, 2017.

A man visiting a Disney theme park near Orlando, who claimed he forgot he had a gun in his backpack, has been charged with a third-degree felony on Monday.

Nathan Polit, from Boynton Beach, was stopped at a security checkpoint at Disney's Animal Kingdom park at 9:30 a.m (local time) on Sunday after a 9mm Smith and Wesson handgun with eight target-style Luger rounds in it was found in his backpack. Polit did not have a concealed permit for the gun, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office, Orlando's WKMG reports.

Polit claimed he had moved the gun from his vehicle to his backpack because he was worried about a break-in but forgot to take the gun out of his bag before going to the park, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

Police confirmed they were led to believe Polit did not intend to declare that he had a firearm because he joined the "no bag line" at security and would have entered the park with the gun on himself, WKMG reports.

He has been charged for carrying a concealed firearm, which is a third-degree felony, and has been issued a trespass warning from all Walt Disney World properties, police records confirm.

No attorney has been listed for Polit, according to online court records, the Associated Press reports.

Polit never made it beyond the security checkpoint, a spokesperson for Disney confirmed, WKMG reports.

"Firearms, ammunition, knives and weapons of any kind" are prohibited on all Walt Disney Resort properties, the company states on its website. 

Newsweek has contacted Disney for further comment on the incident.

Earlier this year in May, another man in Florida was charged for carrying a concealed gun while trying to enter a Disney theme park.

Terry Levearl Bruce, from Daytona Beach, was found to have a holstered pistol along with two magazines in his backpack while he was at the Transportation and Ticket Center for Disney's Magic Kingdom theme park, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office, News 13 reports.

Bruce claimed he had switched vehicles, grabbed the backpack, but forgot the gun was in it, according to the police statement.

The gun was reported to be unloaded and Bruce was not carrying a concealed license for it.

Back in October of 2018, a Florida man carrying a gun in his bag was stopped from entering Walt Disney World, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Marvin Shika claimed he forgot he left his black 9mm handgun in his backpack when security discovered it in his bag at the Disney Ticket and Transportation Center, where he arrived with a stroller and his two children. He did not have a concealed permit for the weapon, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

The gun, along with 16 9mm bullets, and the two magazines in his backpack, were confiscated as evidence, the police report said.

Shika was not charged with a crime but the case was forwarded to the state attorney's office, the report said.

Shika, who was reported to be a "fully disabled Marine Corps veteran," was not arrested because he did not have a felony record and his young children needed someone to watch them, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Shika was also reported to have transported the gun in his car in a legal way so it was not "readily accessible" to his children, according to the police report. Disney issued him a trespass warning and the Department of Children and Families was also notified.

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