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Police Union: ‘Irresponsible’ to Carry Weapons During Convention

Calls for temporary suspension of Ohio's open carry laws in Cleveland

Steve Thacker, center, a member of a group supporting open-carry laws, speaks to reporters in Cleveland. (William Edwards/AFP/Getty Images)
Steve Thacker, center, a member of a group supporting open-carry laws, speaks to reporters in Cleveland. (William Edwards/AFP/Getty Images)

Cleveland’s police union, citing the recent shooting of officers in Texas and Louisiana, has called for a temporary restriction of Ohio’s open carry gun laws during the Republican convention.  

“I couldn’t care less if it’s legal or not,” Stephen Loomis, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, said in an interview Monday on CNN . “We are constitutional law enforcement, we love the Constitution, support it and defend it, but you can’t go into a crowded theater and scream fire. And that’s exactly what they’re doing by bringing those guns down there.”  

He added that the police will be giving extra scrutiny to anyone with a weapon downtown, where the Republican convention begins Monday.

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Ohio Gov. John Kasich said he did not have the authority to grant the request.

“Ohio governors do not have the power to arbitrarily suspend federal and state constitutional rights or state laws as suggested,” he said, according to CNN.
 
“The bonds between our communities and police must be reset and rebuilt — as we’re doing in Ohio — so our communities and officers can both be safe. Everyone has an important role to play in that renewal,” Kasish said.
 
Ohio’s “open carry” laws allow licensed firearm owners to carry their weapons in public.
 
Items like tennis balls, steel-pointed umbrellas and wood posts have been prohibited within roughly two miles of of the event. Guns are permitted in all areas except for a small “secure zone” around the Quicken Loans arena that is under federal jurisdiction.
 
 
Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said Sunday his force was prepared for demonstrations and other forms of protest.
 

“We’ve had open carry scenarios in the city before. And we’ve handed them. We plan to handle them the same way as we always have,” Williams told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “But in this state, everyone has the right to open carry and we want to make sure people do that safely.”  


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