On Wednesday the Observer reported that the petition to allow guns at the RNC Convention was created by a “liberal Democrat” who is a supporter of Hillary Clinton.
On March 25 Breitbart News reported on the existence of the petition and indicated that thousands had signed it. We also called attention to the fact that the petition was located on Change.Org, an outlet far better known as a vehicle for gun control rather than gun rights. The Observer now makes clear that the petition was, in fact, “the brainchild of a Democratic activist and blogger named James P. Ryan.” Ryan claims he did not put the petition up to show any real support for gun rights, but to satirize Republican support for gun rights.
Ryan spoke to the Observer, saying, “I am passionate about gun control and discouraging gun violence. When talk of a contested convention started brewing, I started thinking. On March 3rd, I threw a joke up on Facebook and Twitter and said, ‘Hey guys, you really want guns at your contested convention?'”
The petition called for Ohio Governor John Kasich to use executive power to force Quicken Loans Arena to allow guns at the upcoming Cleveland convention. It also called for the NRA to issue “an immediate condemnation of the egregious affront to the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution constituted by the ‘gun-free zone’ loophole” and for GOP presidential candidates to speak out for guns at the convention as well.
On March 27 Breitbart News told Armed American Radio that the decision to allow guns at the RNC Convention was ultimately up to the Secret Service, rather than Governor Kasich, the NRA, or GOP presidential hopefuls. Moreover, Breitbart News observed that the Secret Service would never allow guns to be carried in a convention-like setting where protectees would be speaking.
On March 28 the Secret Service released a statement making clear that no personal firearms will be allowed at the RNC Convention, period. According to UPI, the Secret Service stressed their role of ensuring “a safe environment for…protectees and the public“ and made clear that “individuals determined to be carrying firearms will not be allowed past a predetermined outer perimeter checkpoint.”
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.