A petition for the open carry of firearms at the Republican National Convention has amassed more than 42,000 signatures as of Monday.
The convention is scheduled to take place in Cleveland from July 18 to 21 at the Quicken Loans Arena, which bans all weapons on property. While Ohio allows open-carry, the venue’s ban is permitted by state law.
The petition’s author, known as N A, finds fault with the policy, calling it “a direct affront to the Second Amendment.” Pointing to an article that ranks Cleveland among the United States’ most dangerous cities and mentioning “the possibility of an ISIS terrorist attack,” the author said the Republican National Committee and the Quicken Loans Arena are putting people at risk.
“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 reads. “All three remaining Republican candidates have spoken out on the issue and are unified in their opposition to Barack HUSSEIN Obama’s ‘gun-free zones.’”
The author then called on the Quicken Loans Arena, the National Rifle Association, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, the Republican National Committee and the GOP presidential contenders to act.
None of the individuals named in the petition immediately responded to a request for comment from NBC News.
On the Sunday morning talk shows, Trump declined to discuss the petition at length.
“I have not seen the petition,” Trump said on ABC. “I want to see what it says. I want to read the fine print. I have to see what it says. I’m a very, very strong person for Second Amendment. I think very few people are stronger. And I have to see the petition.”
When host Jonathan Karl asked Trump to put the specific petition aside and delineate more broadly about the notion of delegates carrying firearms at the convention, Trump refused to consider the prospect.
“I don’t want to forget the petition,” Trump told Karl. “It’s the first I hear about it — of it, and frankly, you know, nobody is stronger on the Second Amendment than me. But I would like to take a look at it.”
A federal spending bill apportioned $50 million to Cleveland to help with the cost of convention security, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The paper reported that the city has proposed using part of the funds to purchase 2,000 sets of riot gear.
Although the City of Cleveland would not comment on operational security matters, it said in a March 18 statement that it looked forward to a successful convention while “working with our federal, state and local security as well as our business partners.”
This article has been updated to reflect an increase in the number of petition signatures.