Following up on an item from a month ago, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is taking several steps to ensure the safety of Republican National Convention attendees this summer, including a ban on all kinds of items that might be considered security threats.
Such as? Everything from water pistols to masks to metal pipes will be restricted. Under state law, however, local officials can't prohibit guns around the convention site, even if they want to. RNC protestors won't be able to carry placards, but they will be able to carry concealed, loaded firearms.
Buckhorn eventually appealed to Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) to use his discretion and make an exception to the state law in the interest of security and public safety. The far-right governor declined the request.
In his letter, Buckhorn appealed to the governor to restrict carrying firearms during the RNC in downtown Tampa under the emergency powers granted to the governor during times of emergency. Given the highly charged atmosphere surrounding the RNC, placing no limits on gun possession could increase the threat to public safety, Buckhorn's letter argued.Scott replied that he understood Buckhorn's concern. The city already plans to ban sticks, poles, water guns and lots of other potential weapons from a downtown "event zone." [...]Scott said he was confident law enforcement would be able to protect Tampa's citizens and visitors without the extra step of banning guns.
Note the speed with which the governor responded -- the Tampa mayor made the request yesterday, on May 1. Scott replied later the same day. The governor didn't feel the need to give this some thought, or check with counsel, or perhaps check with leaders from the law-enforcement community about the most responsible course of action. Instead, he simply rejected the very idea out of hand.
Florida is a very special kind of place.
Update: To clarify, the Secret Service will reportedly establish a security zone where real guns would be prohibited, including inside the convention hall itself, but immediately outside that zone, loaded firearms near the convention site will be permissible.