More than 20,000 people have signed a petition to allow firearms inside the Republican National Convention being held in Cleveland, Ohio in July.
Although Ohio is an open carry state, firearms are currently not permitted inside the Quicken Loans Arena, also known as “the Q,” where the gathering will take place.
According to Fox News, the group “Americans For Responsible Open Carry” started the petition on Change.org on Monday. By Wednesday the petition had met its goal of 5,000 signatures. And, as of early Saturday morning, that number quadrupled.
— Patrick O'Neill (@HowellONeill) March 26, 2016
— Marie Myung-Ok Lee (@MarieMyungOkLee) March 26, 2016
What an excellent idea: a petition to allow open carry of firearms at the Republican National Convention https://t.co/egerY7aU5s
— Bill Hammond (@NYHammond) March 26, 2016
The petition, however, was posted by an author identified only as “N.A.” from Cleveland, but the user profile appears to have been deleted from the website, reports USA Today.
The Secret Service, along with Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, state and federal officials, are handling the security at the event, reports Fox News. Firearms were banned by the Secret Service at the GOP Convention in Tampa, Florida four years ago.
“They are coordinating and will be continuously refining security plans leading up to the national convention,” Alee Lockman, a spokesperson for the Republican National Convention told the Akron Beacon Journal.
Amongst its list of demands, the unnamed group of angry, gun-happy Republicans has called upon Gov. John Kasich, a candidate for the GOP presidential nomination, to mount a “concerted effort to use his executive authority to override the ‘gun-free zone’ loophole being exploited by the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.”
According to the Akron Beacon Journal, the Ohio Republican Party said it was not aware of the group’s petition. The Journal also notes that the National Rifle Association has declined to comment on the matter.
Aside from calling on Gov. John Kasich, the petition lists five points of action in total:
- “From the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland: A suspension of their policy preventing the open carry of firearms on the premises of the arena from July 18-21, 2016 to coincide with the Republican National Convention.”
- “From the National Rifle Association: An immediate condemnation of the egregious affront to the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution constituted by the ‘gun-free zone’ loophole to the state law.”
- “From Ohio Governor John Kasich: A concerted effort to use his executive authority to override the “gun-free zone” loophole being exploited by the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.”
- “From Reince Priebus and the Republican National Committee: An explanation of how a venue so unfriendly to Second Amendment rights was chosen for the Republican Convention. Further, we demand a contingency plan to relocate the convention to another location should the Quicken Loans Arena refuse to honor the constitutional rights of the RNC guests to open carry firearms during the convention.”
- “From all Republican candidates for President: You have been brave in raising awareness about the immense dangers posed by “gun-free zones.” In order to ensure the safety of your supporters, delegates and all attendees at the convention in July, you must call upon the RNC to rectify this affront to our Second Amendment freedoms and insist upon a suspension of the Quicken Loans Arena’s unconstitutional “gun-free zone” loophole. Every American is endowed with a God-given Constitutional right to carry a gun wherever and whenever they please.”
The petition also claims that forcing the rock-headed Republican attendees to leave their firearms at home will put everyone in attendance at risk.
“Without the right to protect themselves, those at the Quicken Loans Area will be sitting ducks, utterly helpless against evil-doers, criminals, or others who wish to threaten the American way of life.”
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