On Monday we reported that an online petition to allow firearms to be carried by attendees of the upcoming Republican National Convention in Cleveland had garnered over 44,000 signatures and enough attention to get responses from the candidates.
Later Monday, the Secret Service quashed any hopes that guns would be allowed in the Quicken Loans Arena.
According to this story from the Washington Post, the Secret Service has announced that only law enforcement personnel will be armed at the event.
“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,” said Secret Service spokesman Robert K. Hoback in a statement, according to the story. “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.”
Hoback said anyone carrying a firearm will not be allowed into the event.
“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,” he said in this story from the Wall Street Journal.
The petition began anonymously a week ago, and is well on its way to a goal of 50,000 signatures. Each of the candidates for the GOP nomination, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich, were asked about the petition, which none directly backed, the story says.
“All that matters is what the Secret Service says,” Kasich said in the story. “One of the things about security that I’ve had to learn over time is that when they tell you not to do something, you don’t do it, it’s for your interest. And the Secret Service is very important in these decisions as is security around the entire convention.”
Cruz also said it’s plainly the Secret Service’s call.
“I haven’t reviewed the particular petition,” Cruz told reporters in Altoona, Wisconsin on Monday. “I will say, at the convention the Secret Service is going to have the principal decision-making concerning the security and so that you would certainly want to get the recommendation from Secret Service—how to maintain security for everyone.”
The petition highlights the fact that “firearms and other weapons of any kind are strictly forbidden on the premises of Quicken Loans Arena,” calling the policy a “direct affront to the Second Amendment and puts all attendees at risk.”
The petition then goes on to call for the Arena, the candidates, RNC, and the NRA to do everything they can to allow firearms at the event.