The Secret Service has announced that no, they will not allow guns to be carried at the upcoming Republican National Convention.
The statement was released in response to a petition requesting that guns be permitted inside Quicken Loans Arena, the venue hosting the event. The RNC is being held in Cleveland this year and Ohio is an open carry state.
As of Monday morning, the petition had garnered more than 43,000 signatures.
Robert Hoback, spokesman for the Secret Service, issued a statement which said that only people who would be allowed to carry firearms inside of protected areas would be “authorized law enforcement personnel” who are working directly with the agency.
Individuals determined to be carrying firearms will not be allowed past a predetermined outer perimeter checkpoint, regardless of whether they possess a ticket to the event,” Hoback said.
According to the agency, federal law gives the Secret Service the power to prohibit guns in venues where their protectees will be, even in states that allow open carry. The exact origin of the petition is unknown, and some have suggested that it may have been begun as satire. Regardless, it has obviously stuck a chord.
The GOP candidates themselves have for the most part avoided taking a stance on the issue and deferred to the discretion of the Secret Service, despite the fact that they are supposed to be champions of the Second Amendment.
Republican front-runner Donald Trump, who is under Secret Service protection, said he has to look closer at the proposal. He said he is “a very, very strong person for Second Amendment,” before he added that, “I have not seen the petition. I want to see what it says. I want to read the fine print.”
On Monday, Sen. Ted Cruz said he had not seen the petition himself and said it should be up to the Secret Service to make the call.
Ohio Go. John Kasich, who is still hanging in the presidential race, was named in the petition but he also said the gun policy for the convention should be dictated by the Secret Service.
The Republican National Committee likewise threw their hands in the air and deferred all questions on security for the venue and event to the Secret Service, who will be in charge of working with federal, state, and local law enforcement to maintain safety at the event.
Convention spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said that naturally, this has nothing to do with the GOP’s support of the Second Amendment.
The Republican Party has been and will continue to be a staunch supporter of the Second amendment. It is in our platform and is strongly supported by our candidates.
The general sentiment seems to be that you should be able to strut around with a deadly weapon slung over your shoulder anywhere you please, as long as it is over there away from them.
Featured image via Justin Sullivan/Getty Images