If you are headed to Cleveland for the GOP Convention, feel free to take your AR 15 assault rifle and your .357 Magnum handgun, but leave behind your squirt guns, umbrellas, and paintball guns, or you may end up in the slammer.
On the eve of the GOP convention in Cleveland, security arrangements have been unveiled. Ohio is an open-carry state, so balancing sensible security precautions against the statutory right to carry a firearm openly presented a daunting challenge for authorities.
Under the Cleveland convention security protocols, two zones have been established. The convention hall and immediate surroundings (“The Secure Zone”) have been declared “gun free” by order of the Secret Service.
I’m sure gun enthusiasts and charter NRA members will scream that their Second Amendment rights are being trampled on, but better that than turning the festive GOP red, white, and blue balloon drop into a shooting gallery.
Outside the Secure Zone is the Event Zone, which encompasses much of downtown Cleveland. In that vast area near the convention center, guns will be allowed. So, an open carry enthusiast can pack his .357 magnum on his hip and carry an AR 15 assault rifle slung over his shoulder under the full protection of Ohio state law. But, not to worry, the Event Zone rules strictly prohibit water guns, pellet guns, knives, paintball guns, and steel tipped umbrellas.
That’s right, you better leave your squirt gun and umbrella at home if you venture out into the Event Zone during the convention, armed to the teeth with your 12-gauge shotgun and a couple Glock 43 handguns strapped to your hip.
The fact that this protocol drama is rolling out in conjunction with the fascinating GOP Convention is just dripping in irony. Nonsensical protocols go hand-in-hand with the most unusual political convention in history. It’s a match made in Cleveland.