More than 50,000 Americans signed a petition that would allow GOP convention attendees to bring firearms to the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. The petition was inevitably denied by the Secret Service.
U.S. Secret Service spokesman Robert Hoback explained the service’s reasoning in a public statement.
Title 18 United States Code Sections 3056 and 1752, provides the Secret Service authority to preclude firearms from entering sites visited by our protectees, including those located in open-carry states. Only authorized law enforcement personnel working in conjunction with the Secret Service for a particular event may carry a firearm inside of the protected site.
The Secret Service works closely with our local law enforcement partners in each state to ensure a safe environment for our protectees and the public. Individuals determined to be carrying firearms will not be allowed past a predetermined outer perimeter checkpoint, regardless of whether they possess a ticket to the event.
Was the original petition serious or satire?
On one hand, the Change.org petition quotes the Second Amendment platforms of all three major Republican candidates as well as the National Rifle Association. It almost seems like the post author is trying to prove that the Republican Party should wholly ‘stick to its guns’ by allowing attendees to openly carry as they choose their nominee.
On the other, the petition takes half a dozen turns for the paranoid. The author evidently believes that Cleveland is teeming with criminals and lone wolf terrorists, and visiting Republicans will need to defend themselves during the GOP convention.
“We must take a stand,” the petition says. “We cannot allow the national nominating convention of the party of Lincoln and Reagan to be hijacked by weakness and political correctness. The policies of the Quicken Loans Arena do not supersede the rights given to us by our Creator in the U.S. Constitution.”
Regardless, the message resonated with enough people to convince the Secret Service to respond with a loud and clear ‘no.’
UPDATE: A liberal blogger admitted that he started the petition. Satire it is!