Security at a national party convention is always challenging, so it’s not surprising that Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is already taking several steps to ensure the safety of Republican National Convention attendees this summer. Among other things, he’s proposed “a litany of items that will be considered security threats.”
Such as? Well, water pistols would be prohibited under the mayor’s plan, as would masks, metal pipes, and string more than six inches long.
Actual firearms, however, would be permissible.
That’s because state law bans local governments from placing any restrictions on the carrying of guns in public spaces.
“If we’d tried to regulate guns, it wouldn’t have worked,” said City Attorney Jim Shimberg.
Mauricio Rodriguez, the assistant city attorney who wrote the ordinance, said early drafts included limits on handguns – until someone mentioned Chapter 790 of Florida Statutes.
“Any local ordinance that regulates guns is void,” Shimberg said last week.
The Secret Service will reportedly establish a security zone where real guns would be prohibited, but immediately outside that zone, loaded firearms near the convention site will be permissible.
In other words, protestors won’t be able to carry placards or water guns, but they will be able to carry concealed, loaded handguns.
Florida is a very special kind of place.