As the Republican National Convention begins in Ohio today, local officials and Cleveland law enforcement are asking that the state’s open carry laws be temporarily suspended, for fears that protesters with firearms, which is allowed by law, would not allow them to maintain security outside the RNC, according to this MSNBC post. Governor John Kasich would have to declare a state of emergency in order to suspend the law, the story says.
“The head of the Cleveland police patrolmen’s union is asking Ohio Gov. John Kasich to suspend the state’s open carry laws in Cuyahoga County for the Republican National Convention in the wake of the deaths of three police officers in Louisiana, according to WJW-TV.
“The station reported Sunday that union president Steve Loomis said he is working with an attorney to draft a request to be sent to Kasich for consideration. Reuters reported Loomis asked the governor to declare a state of emergency, which would allow Kasich to immediately suspend the law.”
According to the story, Loomis told CNN that he did not care “if it’s constitutional or not.”
Kasich, who helped create the state’s open-carry law, rejected the appeal quickly.
“Ohio governors do not have the power to arbitrarily suspend federal and state constitutional rights or state laws as suggested,” Kasich’s office said.
There is a list of items that will be banned in a broad zone around the convention site including, “water guns, toy guns, knives, aerosol cans, rope, (and) tennis balls,” but actual firearms cannot be banned because of the law.
The entire progression of events is similar to what happened in 2012 when Tampa officials banned a bevy of items outside the RNC, but couldn’t restrict guns because of Florida laws.
At that time, the story says, the officials “urged Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) to declare a state of emergency and make an exception to the state law in the interest of security and public safety. Scott refused.”