The Cleveland Police Patrolman’s Association is pushing for Ohio governor John Kasich to suspend the state’s open carry gun laws during the Republican National Convention. The move was prompted by the recent police shootings in Dallas and Baton Rouge.
Steve Loomis, who serves as the union’s president, says open carry laws make it more difficult and dangers to ensure that the convention is safe and secure. “Somebody’s got to do something. What we have now is completely irresponsible.”
Ohio’s open carry laws allow people to openly carry firearms with them provided they have the proper permits. Despite the convention rules banning items such as backpacks, guns will be allowed within convention area though the Secret Service has said they won’t be allowed within the building itself.
Emmalee Kalmback, who serves as Kasich’s press secretary, told CNN that the governor does not have the power to do as the police union requests.
Law enforcement is a noble, essential calling and we all grieve that we’ve again seen attacks on officers. Ohio governors do not have the power to arbitrarily suspend federal and state constitutional rights or state laws as suggested.The bonds between our communities and police must be reset and rebuilt — as we’re doing in Ohio — so our communities and officers can both be safe. Everyone has an important role to play in that renewal.’
Conservatives have long argued that a well-armed society is a safer society, often saying the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. However, law enforcement agencies seem to disagree with that statement. Dallas Police Chief John Brown said that open carry laws made the shooting in Dallas worse because police had trouble figuring out who the shooter was.
‘We’re trying as best we can as a law enforcement community to make it work so that citizens can express their 2nd Amendment rights. But it’s increasingly challenging when people have AR-15s slung over their shoulder and they’re in a crowd. We don’t know who the good guy is versus the bad guy when everyone starts shooting.’
Law enforcement concerns aside, we can’t help but note that Trump and other members of the Republican Party aren’t willing to let people carry guns into the convention. Perhaps they don’t truly buy into the NRA’s line either.
In response to the recent Baton Rouge shooting, Kasich posted a video expressing his regrets.
Governor Kasich’s statement on today’s attack on police officers in Baton Rouge. pic.twitter.com/o6X8CnTT8X
— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) July 17, 2016