Confetti on the floor on the last day of the 2012 Republican National Convention.
Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty

Fight over guns at the RNC draws Secret Service response

Updated
When the Republican National Convention gets underway in Cleveland in July, attendees will not be permitted to bring loaded firearms with them onto the convention floor. The policy isn’t exactly surprising, and it’s consistent with the precautions taken at every national party convention in recent memory.
 
But some gun enthusiasts created a Change.org petition to challenge the gun ban.
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.’”
Putting the president’s middle name in all caps is always a sign of a serious and thoughtful person making a substantive argument.
 
The specific request demanded that the Republican National Committee, the National Rifle Association, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and those who manage the Quicken Loans Arena itself all take steps to allow convention attendees to carry loaded guns at the party gathering.
 
This is the same gathering, by the way, where Donald Trump said there may be “riots,” and at least one U.S. senator has said he may skip the convention because he fears for his personal safety – and this was before gun enthusiasts created and signed the firearm petition.
 
Yesterday, the Secret Service announced their response to the petition. The Washington Post reported:
The Secret Service on Monday quashed the hopes of gun rights advocates who were pushing for the open carry of firearms to be allowed at this summer’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland. […]
 
“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,” Secret Service spokesman Robert K. Hoback said in a statement. “Only authorized law enforcement personnel working in conjunction with the Secret Service for a particular event may carry a firearm inside of the protected site.”
Wait, you mean the argument about “sitting ducks” and “evil-doers” wasn’t persuasive?
 
As for the GOP presidential candidates themselves, one of whom will probably accept their party’s nomination at this convention, none of the final three contenders seemed eager to endorse the petition’s purpose. Kasich and Ted Cruz said, wisely, that they would defer to the Secret Service’s judgment on matters of convention security, while Trump said he would need to read the petition’s text. He added, however, “I’m a very, very strong person for Second Amendment. I think very few people are stronger.”
 
 

Gun Policy, Republican National Convention and Secret Service

Fight over guns at the RNC draws Secret Service response

Updated