More than 47,000 people signed a petition declaring they want to see guns openly carried at this summer’s Republican National Convention (RNC), but the Secret Service has said not a chance.
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An online petition on Change老域名出售 says it’s “a direct affront to the Second Amendment” that Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena, where the RNC will be held July 18 to 21, forbids firearms on its premises despite Ohio being one of the 31 states where you don’t need a permit or license to carry a firearm out in the open.
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The petition, posted online March 24, argues not allowing guns inside the convention, where Republicans will officially nominate their presidential candidate, would put “tens of thousands of people at risk…
“This doesn’t even begin to factor in the possibility of an ISIS terrorist attack on the arena during the convention. Without the right to protect themselves, those at the Quicken Loans Arena will be sitting ducks, utterly helpless against evil-doers, criminals or others who wish to threaten the American way of life.”
The petition was posted anonymously by a purported blogger going by the pseudonym “The Hypernationalist” and there are questions on social media about whether the petition is legitimate or just a work of satire.
Has ANYONE in the media actually read the Guns at the GOP Convention petition? How does no one recognize satire? Nice job @hyperationalist.
— Liz Gumbinner (@Mom101) March 28, 2016
#ModestProposal for the 21stCentury #GOP #RNC #Trump #Republicans https://t.co/EgMLYTJfgZ
— KRMercier (@krmercier) March 27, 2016
believe it or not, this wasn’t written by #JonathanSwift: https://t.co/EgMLYTJfgZ
— KRMercier (@krmercier) March 27, 2016
Regardless, it got a response from the government agency tasked with protecting the current president and potential future ones.
The Secret Service said Monday the only guns allowed in will be carried by their agents.
“Title 18 United States Code Sections 3056 and 1752 provides the Secret Service authority to preclude firearms from entering sites visited by our protectees, including those located in open-carry states,” the Washington Post reported Secret Service spokesperson Robert K. Hoback saying in a statement.
And despite Ohio’s open carry law, a loophole allows a private venue like the Quicken Loans Arena can prohibit anyone from bringing firearms or weapons onto its premises.
Pepper spray, pocket knives and blades of any kind are also banned from the venue, according to the arena’s policies and procedures.
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The petition also called on the three GOP candidates to reiterate their condemnation of so-called gun-free zones — “Barack HUSSEIN Obama’s ‘gun-free zones,’” to be specific.
In response, Trump told ABC’s This Week he hadn’t seen the petition and wants “to read the fine print.” Cruz said he hadn’t had a look at it either and deferred to the Secret Service, as did Kasich.
Even without the possibility of guns on the convention floor, there are already concerns about violence in Cleveland when the RNC comes to town.
There has been a spate of scuffles and violent incidents at the campaign rallies for GOP front runner Donald Trump and the presidential candidate himself even warned of “riots” if there’s a successful attempt to deny him of the nomination.
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That aside, there has been violence and arrests at past Republican conventions.
Police arrested more than 800 people at the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, where John McCain was confirmed as the presidential nominee along with running mate, vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.
There’s a combined $50 million US set aside for security at both the Republican and Democratic conventions this year, according to NPR.
The Democrats will name their nominee at their national convention in Philadelphia from July 25 to 28.