Although the petition to allow guns into the RNC convention center has been denied by the US Secret Service, that has not ended the matter because the question arises as to what happens outside the Quicken Loans Arena that are after all public spaces where Ohio’s laws allow people to carry weapons openly or concealed. The city government and security services are grappling with this question and expect to issue guidelines by June.
Apparently the Secret Service can authorize gun-free zones even outside the arena, within what it can declare to be a ‘security perimeter’.
Typically at major political conventions, law enforcement officials establish two levels of security. The U.S. Secret Service oversees security within a physical high-security perimeter surrounding primary convention sites. Secret Service officials have said — like in past years — that guns will be banned within the security perimeter that is expected to surround Quicken Loans Arena, the main convention site.
But then city police typically enforce a secondary level of heightened security — sometimes referred to as a “clean zone” or “event zone” — in nearby areas.
In 2012, Tampa banned items within its 8.1 square-mile “event zone” including masks, brass knuckles, clubs and water guns when the Florida city hosted that year’s Republican National Convention, according to the Tampa Bay Times. But the city permitted people to carry licensed, concealed firearms in the same area after Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott rejected a request from Democratic Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn for a temporary gun ban.
Interestingly, for the RNC convention held in Tampa in 2012, the city banned people from bringing in items such as “large pieces of steel or lumber, aerosol cans, coolers, camping gear, fireworks, bottles, cans and thermoses” but could not ban actual weapons since state law protects people’s right to carry them.
So if Cleveland ends up adopting rules similar to Tampa, you can scrap plans to take along anything that would enable you to have a picnic downtown while watching the activities but you can take with you anything that might contribute to a gunfight.