Dan Mullen

UF head coach Dan Mullen shared his team weapons policy at UF Media Day on Thursday. "I have a no-weapons policy, but it’s not like you’re not allowed to have a gun," he said. 

UF head football coach Dan Mullen has one of the most interesting policies about his players having weapons.

It’s a “no-weapons” policy that allows for weapons.

On July 22, a Gainesville police officer found an assault rifle in the backseat of Florida wide receiver Kadarius Toney’s white Chevy Monte Carlo. Toney wasn’t arrested and legally owns the firearm, but said he owns the weapon for “protection because of locals.”

This prompted reporters at today’s media day to ask Mullen what he thinks about players owning guns, and if he’s worried about his players’ safety.

The following is transcript of his responses.

Brace yourselves. This gets interesting.

 

What’s your gun policy?

“I have a no-weapons policy, but it’s not like you’re not allowed to have a gun. 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 home and their family.

“What we do is spend a lot of time with the no weapons, really is to educate them on weapons, on having guns. Why you would have it? What’s the purpose of having?

“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 of potentially -- I haven’t set this up -- 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? You qualified? And are you trained in using?

“So that what we’re not looking for are gun accidents or issues where a gun can cause a bigger problem than if there wasn’t a weapon involved. It’s about the education. It’s when and where would be the appropriate times to have it. It’s something I learned because a long time ago -- “hey, we have a no weapons policy.” I came from a place in Mississippi State the last nine years where a lot of our kids they have all kind of -- they have bows. They spent a lot of time hunting in trees and deer hunting and different things.

“How you define a weapons policy, which is to make sure we’re properly educating our young men about having a gun or any sort of thing.”

 

So it’s not really a no-weapons policy?
“No. I mean. I’m not. That would be a hard one in the world.”

 

But you said a “no-weapons policy?”
“A no-weapons policy, and it’s a no-weapons policy in certain situations and how to be educated to not have one.
“When I like our kids thinking, I like them thinking in quick things. If that makes sense.

“No weapons. That’s easy to remember.

“If I write out all the different, you know, no weapons in these situations or have a weapon in a hunting situation if I’m doing this? Do I store at this location? Do I keep it here? I have gun safety rules and knowledge. That’s not as a quick catch to them to register in their minds.

“Does that make sense?”

What’s your reaction to Kadarius Toney saying he needs an assault rifle for protection from locals?
“That’s education. I spent a lot of time with him, and I think it goes more into it than the one statement.

“Anytime I look into a situation I dive deep into it. I look into the background. I dive deep into where you’re from. Where you’ve grown up. What your neighborhood’s like. What you’ve been exposed to in life. All of those different situations. 

“So one of the things to me is ‘why do you say that?’ Why do you think that? Is there a reality in that? And how do we educate to make good decisions in those things?
“Very rarely do I take one quote or one line and making a decision or judgement on that situation without researching all the background that goes in to what happened.”

Are you concerned with the fact that the players are associating with someone at least one of them has named as a gambler, going as far as to say that they were friends until the Gators started losing?
“No, it’s something we’d looked into, right there.
“I’ll be honest with you, they just made sports gambling legal across America. So there’s obviously a lot of gamblers across the United States of America. I don’t. There might be a bunch in this room right here. I’m associating with you today...
“Again, that’d be something we investigate or look into in severity of it. We’re always concerned with our players and who they associate with in every aspect of life.”

Have you looked into it?
“We look into everything.”

And what did you find?
“If we find something we’ll let you know.”

@mstinejr

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