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Kasich rejects Cleveland police request to suspend “open carry” laws during GOP convention

Good grief. Has our societal obsession with guns gone so far that law enforcement must make a special request to suspend “open carry” laws around major events? One would have though the insanity of recent situations in which officers couldn’t tell snipers from “open carriers” would have taught us a lesson, but apparently not. Judd Legum of Think Progress filed the following report yesterday:

Ohio is an “open carry” state which allows gun owners to carry them in plain sight. People have been exercising this right around the site of the Republican convention…

Strangely, in the area around the convention, “tennis balls, metal-tipped umbrellas or canned goods” are prohibited. But AR-15s or other firearms are not.

But now, the Cleveland Police Union has made an emergency request to suspend open carry for the duration of the Republican convention.

“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,” Cleveland Police Union president Stephen Loomis told CNN.

The request may be related to the violence in Baton Rogue, where three police officers were killed today. (Loomis also blamed Obama for those shootings, saying he had “blood on his hands.”)

The request will put Governor Kasich in an awkward position. In general Republicans argue that open-carry laws are an important party of the right to bear arms and improve public safety. The research does not support this argument.

UPDATE JUL 17, 2016 3:03 PM

Governor Kasich, through a spokesperson, rejected the request from the Cleveland police. “Ohio Governors do not have the power to arbitrarily suspend federal and state constitutional rights or state law as suggested,” his spokesperson said.

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