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Open-carry petition came from Hillary Clinton supporter

Open-carry petition came from Hillary Clinton supporter

A man who says he authored a petition to allow open carry of guns at the Republican National Convention says he did it to test the limits of the party’s support for the Second Amendment. 

The petition, which has attracted national attention, reads as if it was written by a supporter of gun rights. 

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Instead, the man behind the petition is a Democrat who plans on supporting Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump touts report Warner attempted to talk to dossier author Poll: Nearly half of Iowans wouldn’t vote for Trump in 2020 Rubio on Warner contact with Russian lobbyist: It’s ‘had zero impact on our work’ MORE for president.

The man, who said his name is Jim, is from the Philadelphia area. But he would not provide his full name, saying he has received threatening messages since the petition was published. 

An anonymous blogger, who goes by the pseudonym Hyperationalist, is listed as the author of the petition on the website Change.org.  Jim reached out to The Hill in response to an email sent to an address associated with the blog.

In a phone interview with The Hill, Jim said he published the petition to call attention to what he sees as a discrepancy in Republicans’ position on gun rights. 

He said if GOP candidates were actually against gun-free zones like they claimed, they would support the allowing open carry at the convention. 

Some reporters and Twitter users have called the petition a masterful parody of the Republican Party’s position on guns. But Jim said he is serious about his position.

“Everyone wants to call it satire or trolling,” he said. “But it is a serious issue. I tried to write the petition taking them at 100 percent face value.

“If the rest of us get to have law-abiding citizens protecting us with guns at restaurants and schools,” Jim added, then why shouldn’t Republicans have it at their convention?

Jim had a feeling the petition would raise eyebrows, given that Republican frontrunner Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTillerson: Russia already looking to interfere in 2018 midterms Dems pick up deep-red legislative seat in Missouri Speier on Trump's desire for military parade: 'We have a Napoleon in the making' MORE has floated the prospect of “riots” if party elders block him from receiving the nomination at the Cleveland convention.

“With talk of a contested convention heating up, the issues came together in a way that made sense,” he said. 

But Jim said he “certainly was surprised” by the reaction to his petition. It has amassed more than 50,000 signatures as of Tuesday morning.

All three Republican presidential candidates have weighed in on it. Trump said he wants to study the "fine print." Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSasse statement: Trump nominee who spread conspiracy theories has a ‘tinfoil hat’ Coalition of 44 groups calls for passage of drug pricing bill For the sake of our democracy, politicians must stop bickering MORE (R-Texas) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich deferred to the Secret Service, which oversees convention security. 

Jim expressed disappointment at the Secret Service’s decision to ban guns from the convention. 

He also posed a question to Trump, Cruz and Kasich: would they support repealing the federal law that allows the Secret Service to ban guns even in jurisdictions that allow open-carry. 

“Or at this point are they just going to acquiesce to the Treasury Department’s tyranny?” he asked of the candidates. “It seems to me they shouldn’t take the agency’s position at face value.”