The Secret Service has been forced to tell everybody that no, they won’t allow guns on the floor of the Republican National Convention this July. More than 45,000 people have signed a Change.org petition to be allowed to open-carry at the RNC. The petition, from the looks of the creator’s Twitter feed, is likely a joke.
The Change.org petition was put online March 23 by a small anonymous blog called Hyperationalist; the language seems to be a subtly overheated parody of people who feel the need to bring their AKs into Chipotle, in case ISIS descends on your lunch hour. From the petition:
Cleveland, Ohio is consistently ranked as one of the top ten most dangerous cities in America. By forcing attendees to leave their firearms at home, the RNC and Quicken Loans Arena are putting tens of thousands of people at risk both inside and outside of the convention site.
This doesn’t even begin to factor in the possibility of an ISIS terrorist attack on the arena during the convention. Without the right to protect themselves, those at the Quicken Loans Arena will be sitting ducks, utterly helpless against evil-doers, criminals or others who wish to threaten the American way of life.
Many of the comments supporting the petition are equally sarcastic (“Don’t you want this to be the safest political convention EVER”), but nonetheless, as The Hill reports, the Secret Service is humorlessly putting the kibosh on this one:
Secret Service spokesman Robert Hoback said in a statement that “only authorized law enforcement personnel” working with the agency will be allowed to carry firearms inside protected areas.
“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,” Hoback wrote in an email.
The Secret Service cited federal law that allows the agency to prevent firearms from being carried into venues with protectees present, even in open-carry states.
In this Jan. 26, 2015, file photo, a demonstrator helps hold a large “Come and Take It” banner at a rally in support of open carry gun laws at the Capitol, in Austin, Texas. Photo via AP Images