Secret Service Bans Guns at Republican Convention
- By Sydny Shepard
- Mar 30, 2016
The Secret Service has forbidden attendees to carry firearms at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July.
“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,” Kevin Dye, a spokesman for the agency said in a statement.
Throughout the end of March, debates over whether to permit guns in the Quicken Loans Arena in the second-largest city in Ohio grew with intensity. An online petition appeared on Change.org, taking issue with the arena’s anti-weapon policy in a state that allows “open carry” of firearms.
“This is a direct affront to the Second Amendment and puts all attendees at risk,” the petition states. By March 29, the petition had over 50,000 signatures.
Republican front-runner Donald Trump said that while he had not reviewed the petition, believed that the delegates risked becoming, “sitting ducks, utterly helpless against evildoers and criminals.”
The fight against gun-free zones has been propelled by Republicans in recent years partly as a response to the increase in mass shootings in the United States. Gun rights advocates have pushed the argument that a licensed gun owner could save lives during these kinds of shootings.
The Secret Service said in their statement that it has the authority to ban guns from sites visited by presidential candidates under its protection. A perimeter will be set up around the arena during the convention, July 18-21, which “individuals determined to be carrying firearms will not be allowed past,” Dye said.
Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.