More than 20,000 sign petition to allow guns at Republican National Convention
WASHINGTON (CNN) — A petition to allow firearms inside the Republican National Convention in Cleveland has collected more than 22,000 signatures as of Saturday afternoon.
“Though Ohio is an open carry state, which allows for the open carry of guns, the hosting venue — the Quicken Loans Arena — strictly forbids the carry of firearms on their premises,” the petition says.
The petition’s author, who is identified as “N A,” asks the three remaining GOP candidates to ask the Republican National Committee to advocate for changes to this policy.
“In order to ensure the safety of your supporters, delegates and all attendees at the convention in July, you must call upon the RNC to rectify this affront to our Second Amendment freedoms and insist upon a suspension of the Quicken Loans Arena’s unconstitutional ‘gun-free zone’ loophole,” the petition reads.
The petition says Cleveland is a violent city and cites the threat of terrorism and all three Republican candidates’ opposition to gun-free zones as reasons why attendees should be allowed to carry inside the arena.
“We are all too familiar with the mass carnage that can occur when citizens are denied their basic God-given rights to carry handguns or assault weapons in public,” the petition reads.
The petition asks Ohio governor and GOP presidential hopeful John Kasich to use his executive authority to override Ohio’s “gun-free zone” laws.
And supporters would like RNC Chairman Reince Priebus to explain why a “gun-free” venue was chosen for the Republican convention and to communicate a contingency plan to relocate the convention if nothing changes.
CNN has reached out to the RNC and a convention spokesperson for comment.
The petition comes among heightened concerns about security at the convention. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported earlier this month that Cleveland plans to buy 2,000 sets of riot gear, including riot-control suits and collapsible batons, as part of the city’s latest move to spend a $50 million federal security grant for the convention.
The convention will be held July 18 through July 21.