After months of will they-or-won’t they speculation, Cleveland officials finally announced on Wednesday they'll abide by Ohio’s open carry laws and allow people to bring guns to the Republican National Convention.
Meanwhile, drones, umbrellas, ladders, canned goods, hammocks, thermoses, tennis balls, ladders, toy guns, water pistols, fireworks, light bulbs, coolers, ice chests, backpacks, sabers, lasers and “containers of bodily fluids” are a complete no-no.
To be precise, firearms will not be allowed inside the Quicken Loans Arena, which will be divided in two separate zones during the highly anticipated event: the event zone and the secure zone.
While city officials will regulate the outermost event area encompassing the Cleveland downtown, the U.S. Secret Service will control the interior secure zone, including the convention arena where presumptive GOP nominee, Donald Trump, is expected to accept the party's presidential nomination.
“Our intent is to follow the law. And if the law says you can have open carry, that’s what it says. Whether I agree with it or not is another issue,” Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson said in a press conference.
Republican Convention this month has a list of what you can't bring. No light bulbs & water pistols. Guns are fine! pic.twitter.com/CKOc7M1AXb— Dr. David Anderson (@AndersonSpeaks) July 3, 2016
The officials were previously reluctant to allow guns at the event, which prompted around 55,000 people to sign a terrifying online petition demanding gun be allowed within the Quicken Loans Arena. The city, by law, cannot prevent anyone from toting a (legally owned) firearm around or inside the event zone.
“It's the law in this state and as police chief, I'm bound to uphold the law in this state,” said Police Chief Calvin Williams. “We'll make sure that people stay within the parameters of what's allowed and what's not.”
The city of Cleveland, so far, has only issued permits to four protest groups including a pro-Trump organization who are reportedly brining guns to the Republican National Convention so they could protect it against terrorists. However, several other groups of demonstrators have also suggested they might bring weapons to the protests at or around the convention.
The move comes just days after a gunman killed five police officers with a high-powered rifle during a Black Lives Matter rally in Dallas where hundreds of people had gathered to protest the police killings of two black men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.