The Republican National Convention, currently underway in Cleveland, seems to be a veritable gun-fest with an overwhelming number of rifle-toting, Trump loving, Islamophobes in attendance from across the country.
The open-carry gun laws in Ohio permit licensed firearm owners to walk about with their weapons openly displayed in public, with the exception of a few “secure zones.”
On the heels of the deadly sniper attack in Dallas last week, the open-carry laws have raised concerns among law enforcement agencies, who reportedly said the laws during the incident made it difficult for them to distinguish between the suspects and those exercising their rights under the Second Amendment.
Police representatives implored Ohio Gov. John Kasich to see reason.
“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," Stephen Loomis, president of Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association, told CNN about their advice to tighten gun control laws in the state for the duration of the event. “They can fight about it after the RNC or they can lift it after the RNC, but I want him to absolutely outlaw open-carry in Cuyahoga County until this RNC is over.”
The statement was immediately met with negative response from some members of the Republican Party.
"Ohio governors do not have the power to arbitrarily suspend federal and state constitutional rights or state laws as suggested," Kasich said in response.
This coming from the person who himself helped created the open-carry law in the state.
"The governor just can't automatically just do away with open carry," Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said. "There's a Constitution, there's statutes, there's laws and he has to obey those. ... I take the police union's concerns very seriously. But the governor doesn't have, according to him, the executive power to do that."
“Don’t tell me it can’t be done,” Loomis said in response to Kasich’s refusal. “It needs to be done.”
The civilians, in open defiance of the plea by the police, still toted assorted firearms in the vicinity of the RNC, despite the heightened fears.
Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said it's always challenging when the public and firearms come into the mix.
“We’ve heard reports from different sources about everyone from anarchists, to black separatists, to, you know, just regular Trump followers, anti-Trump followers,” Williams said. “Everybody has been, you know, in some way, shape, or form touted as coming to Cleveland to either cause trouble or to exercise their first amendment rights. But we’re prepared for it all.”