Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued a stern warning to those trying to take advantage of the victims of Hurricane Ian.
DeSantis made the comments Friday during a news conference in Fort Myers, Florida. He said that while visiting nearby Punta Gorda, he saw a business with a sign that read, “You loot, we shoot.”
“We are a law and order state and this is a law and order society,” DeSantis said. “So don’t think you’re going to take advantage of people who have some misery.”
“Don’t even think about looting,” he said during another news conference later in the day.
HURRICANE IAN IN FLORIDA SPARES FANTASTIC MESSAGES OF MISSING LOVED ONES AND DESTROYED HOMES
DeSantis added that people looking to “search people’s homes” should beware: Florida is a Second Amendment state.
“I can tell you in the state of Florida, you never know what might be hiding behind somebody’s home,” he said. “And I wouldn’t think about it if I were you—since we’re a Second Amendment state.”
Ian made landfall in Florida on Wednesday, and nearly 2 million people remained without power as of Friday afternoon.
The hurricane made landfall as a powerful Category 4 storm, with maximum sustained winds reaching 155 mph.
Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno also said he “will not tolerate” anyone trying to take advantage of people suffering as a result of storm damage.
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“We will not tolerate, I mean zero tolerance, when we say anybody who thinks they’re going to thrive with the residents of this county or state when we’ve just taken a terrible hit — I can guarantee you it won’t happen,” Marceno said.
He said there will be “swift incarceration with no tolerance.”
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21 deaths have been reported across Florida after Hurricane Ian tore through the state, according to FOX 35, but officials say the number is expected to rise.
On Friday afternoon, Ian went ashore near Georgetown, South Carolina. The National Hurricane Center downgraded it to a post-tropical cyclone.