Executive Order to Ban Concealed Carry
Rob Houglum LeadLinkMedia.com Friday, April 27, 2012
TAMPA, Fla. -- The many thousands of objectors predicted at the Democratic and Republican state conventions can come fitted out with a lot more than signs and slogans : State law in Florida and North Carolina allows hidden firearms, including guns.
In Tampa, where the RNC will hold its revelry this autumn, officials are starting to worry about folk toting guns in such a politically-charged environment. The Town Council voted Thursday to ask Republican Gov. Rick Scott to help them momentarily ban hidden weapons. Charlotte officials haven't begun to publically express concern, but with both cities making an attempt to balance public safety with First and 2nd Change rights, it's likely the host city for the Democratic convention will additionally have to deal with the problem.
The Tampa City Council wants Scott to give out an executive order, stopping folks with hidden weapons authorizes from carrying guns.
"We believe it's a necessity and judicious to take this reasonable step to prevent a potential tragedy," council member Lisa Montelione asserted in a draft letter to Scott.
Tampa town leaders have already proposed a number of banned items ( lumber, hatchets, gas masks, chains and "super soaker" water cannons ) - but they are forestalled from outlawing concealed guns. Florida and North Carolina have laws prohibiting local officers from pre-empting state gun statutes.
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn declared the state law has made the city "look silly," especially because officers can ban water guns although not real ones.
"We're kind of constrained by the state law," he claimed.
Charlotte officers also believe they're hamstrung.
"We can't change what the state legislative council has in place," claimed Mark Newbold, an attorney with the police office.
Tens of thousands of representatives, writers and political addicts will stream into the mid scale cities for the multi-day conventions. Republicans hold their event at the Tampa Bay Times Arena during Aug. 27-30. The Democrats ' party is a week later at the time Warner Wire Arena. Inside the arenas, the Secret Service has banned non combatants from carrying guns.
Both towns have hosted massive gatherings before - Tampa has held four Super Bowls and Charlotte has entertained the Atlantic Coast Conference basketball tournament and the Nation's Rifle Organisation convention - but neither has truly experienced an event like this.
In the last fifty years, political conventions have now become a magnet for protesters, and they have sometimes turned repulsive.
In 1968, protesters attempted to interrupt the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Scenes of police clashing with protesters on the streets played on telly screens in living rooms across America. 4 years on, anti-war demonstrators disrupted the Republican Countrywide Convention in Miami Beach.
More recently, thousands of protesters descended on St. Paul, Minn, in 2008, when the town hosted the Republican National Convention. Some demonstrators smashed vehicles, punctured tires and threw bottles in a showdown with pepper-spray wielding police. Hundreds of folks were arrested over a few days.
"Everything we do relies on something that happened at another convention or another state security event," Tampa Town Attorney Jim Shimberg declared.
The central government has given $50 million each to Charlotte and Tampa to help them pay for new security-related equipment, training and officer wages.
Tampa is proposing a "Clean Zone" protest area with compact toilets, water, a stage and a microphone for objectors. Outside that area, folks will be permitted to march down an official parade route so long as they have a permit.
The precise location of the protest sectors and security perimeter will be decided by the city commission in the approaching weeks.
Joyce Hamilton Henry, the director of the mid-Florida office of the American Civil Freedoms Union, expounded her organisation is nervous about protests that'll be restricted to 60 minutes, and a ban on masks.
"We feel it's very unrealistic, particularly if groups are coming in with enormous numbers," Hamilton Henry declared.
The Tampa Police Department is anticipated to rotate the majority of its 1,000-officer force into convention security in the event, which could draw up to 45,000 folk. An additional 3,000 officials from other agencies around the state will help.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Dept plans to add 2,400 to 3,400 officials from outside departments to its force of more than 1,750.
For the convention there, a coalition of groups has formed because they said they are angry the city has refused to share info regarding where they can gather.
The Coalition to Protest at the DNC has promised to gather without allows, and promised a great demonstration Sept. 2 in what they call the Wall Street of the South.
Charlotte, a town of 760,000 folks, is home to B. O. A Corp, one of the state's largest banks.
"This is something we have to do. They can not stop our right to protest," said Ben Carroll, a coalition spokesman.
Members of the coalition said they are still indignant about how police in Feb disbanded an Occupy Charlotte tent town on the turf outside the old City Hall. Protesters had been camped there since October.
The move came one week after Charlotte adopted an incredible event ordinance limiting political demonstrations before this year's convention. The new rules give police more power to stop and search people when the convention comes to town. And people won't be permitted to carry back-packs and other items in elected areas.
Tags: Second Amendment, 2nd Amendment, Florida Second Amendment