Cleveland police union: Suspend open carry during convention

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The Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association is pushing the Ohio governor to suspend a state law that allows people to openly carry firearms, USA Today reported.

Police union president Steve Loomis said the state’s open carry policy makes it “much more difficult” to keep the Republican National Convention secure in Cleveland this week. 

He is calling on Ohio Gov. John Kasich to declare an emergency in light of the recent deadly police shootings both in Dallas and Baton Rouge, La.

{mosads}”Somebody’s got to do something,” Loomis said Sunday. “What we have now is completely irresponsible.”

Ohio state law allows people to carry firearms in plain sight on most public property, including areas surrounding the convention, but the Secret Service will prohibit guns closer to the main arena.

Authorities have banned other items in the event zone, including tennis balls and large backpacks, but guns are still allowed.

Kasich’s press secretary, Emmalee Kalmbach, said the governor doesn’t have the authority to suspend the open carry law, according to CNN.

“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 statement said.

“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.”

On Sunday afternoon, Kasich posted a video on Twitter offering his prayers to the families of the victims of the Baton Rouge shooting, which left three officers dead and others wounded Sunday.

Kasich said he spoke to the Ohio Highway Patrol about how much he “appreciates their service here at the convention in Cleveland.”

“Our hearts, prayers, go out to their families,” he said in the video.

“And let’s be clear: These kinds of vicious attacks on police officers will only serve to drive a wedge and destroy the very fabric of our society.”

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