On the same day the Secret Service announced that guns will not be allowed at the national GOP convention, the Republican Party of Texas announced it will allow the carrying of handguns at the state convention by licensed gun owners.
Holders of Texas handgun licenses will be allowed to open and concealed carry handguns at the Texas Republican State Convention, a spokesperson for the Republican Party of Texas confirmed to the Dallas Morning News on Monday. Previously the state allowed handguns to be carried if they were concealed. An open carry law became effective in January this year.
The leader of the Open Carry Texas group, C.J. Grisham, who actively campaigned for the state’s new open carry law said he will be carrying a gun at the convention which is scheduled for May. “There’s no such thing as a safe place,” Grisham told the Dallas newspaper.
In contrast, the Secret Service announced on Monday that handguns will not be allowed at the national convention of the Republican Party. The GOP national convention is scheduled to be held in July in Cleveland, Ohio. The announcement came despite the signatures of more than 43,000 people on a petition to the Secret Service, according to The Hill.
Secret Service spokesman Robert Hoback said in a statement that “only authorized law enforcement personnel” working with the agency will be allowed to carry firearms inside protected areas, The Hill reported.
Grisham told the Dallas Morning News he is not blaming the Republican Party for the rules in Cleveland. He said that Republican lawmakers should pass new laws preventing the Secret Service from creating “gun free zones.”
“It is really kind of sad to say you have to pass laws that say you have to obey the Constitution,” Grisham explained. “These are our rights. Our rights should not end just because any individual person wanders into an area.”
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated.