Ohio is an “open carry” state which allows gun owners to carry them in plain sight. People have been exercising this right around the site of the Republican convention:
— Matt Pearce (@mattdpearce) July 17, 2016
— Alexander Trowbridge (@AlexanderTrow) July 17, 2016
Strangely, in the area around the convention, “tennis balls, metal-tipped umbrellas or canned goods” are prohibited. But AR-15s or other firearms are not.
But now, the Cleveland Police Union has made an emergency request to suspend open carry for the duration of the Republican convention.
NEW: Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association drafting asking OH Gov. John Kasich to suspend open carry in Cleveland during RNC Convention.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) July 17, 2016
“We are sending a letter to Gov. Kasich requesting assistance from him. He could very easily do some kind of executive order or something — I don’t care if it’s constitutional or not at this point,” Cleveland Police Union president Stephen Loomis told CNN.
The request will put Governor Kasich in an awkward position. In general Republicans argue that open-carry laws are an important party of the right to bear arms and improve public safety. The research does not support this argument.
Governor Kasich, through a spokesperson, rejected the request from the Cleveland police. “Ohio Governors do not have the power to arbitrarily suspend federal and state constitutional rights or state law as suggested,” his spokesperson said.