U.S. Secret Service: No, You May Not Open Carry at the GOP Convention

by Jim Geraghty

A mysterious group calling itself Americans for Responsible Open Carry set up a petition calling for open carry of firearms at Quicken Loans Arena during the Republican National Convention in July. Ohio is an open-carry state, but the arena bars “weapons of any kind, including pepper spray, pocket knives and/or blades of any kind.”

At this point, more than 43,000 people have signed the petition – which may include genuine Second Amendment advocates who don’t want any open-carry restrictions, gun-control advocates who think GOP lawmakers are being hypocritical by barring guns from their gathering, and those who hope to see the GOP nomination fight settled with small-arms fire.

Kevin Dye, spokesperson for the U.S. Secret Service, points out that the gun ban on the premises during the convention is perfectly legal and will not change.

“Title 18 United States Code Sections 3056 and 1752, provides the Secret Service authority to preclude firearms from entering sites visited by our protectees, including those located in open-carry states,” Dye said. Under this code, only authorized law-enforcement personnel working in conjunction with the Secret Service for an event may carry a firearm inside of a protected site.

“The Secret Service works closely with our local law enforcement partners in each state to ensure a safe environment for our protectees and the public,” Dye added. “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.”

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