Cleveland’s largest police union has appealed to Ohio Governor John Kasich to suspend Ohio’s open carry laws and Second Amendment rights for the Americans attending the Republican National Convention (RNC).
From the Washington Post:
Stephen Loomis, president of Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, told CNN that he planned to send a letter to Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) requesting immediate executive action. The demand arrives on the heels of two high-profile shootings that left five police officers dead in Dallas last week and three dead in Baton Rouge earlier today.
“We are sending a letter to Governor Kasich requesting assistance from him,” Loomis told CNN. “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. They can fight about it after the RNC, or they can lift it after the RNC, but I want him to absolutely outlaw open-carry in Cuyahoga County until this RNC is over.”
Ohio, like many states, allows citizens to openly exercise their 2nd Amendment rights by legally carrying loaded handguns, rifles, or shotguns in public as long as they are visible and not brandished (pointed) at anyone without due cause.
Open carry is a right closely guarded by Second Amendment advocates.
The police’s concern over open carry attendees and observers to the RNC has spiked in the wake of the police shootings in Dallas and Baton Rouge in the last two weeks.
Police Union president Stephen Loomis apparently believes the answer to this problem is less freedom and more government control.
Law enforcement’s fears have been further compounded by reports that radical leftist groups like the New Black Panther Party plan to be in Cleveland in force and heavily armed.
Last week, the group’s chairman told news agency Reuters that members plan to carry firearms as a means of self-defense.
“If it is an open state to carry, we will exercise our second amendment rights because there are other groups threatening to be there that are threatening to do harm to us,” Hashim Nzinga, chairman of the New Black Panther Party, told Reuters. “If that state allows us to bear arms, the Panthers and the others who can legally bear arms will bear arms.”
Governor Kasich’s office replied to the police union’s request to suspend the Right to Bear Arms, stating, “Ohio governors do not have the power to arbitrarily suspend federal and state constitutional rights or state laws as suggested.”
Conservative gun owners are also expected to attend the Convention openly armed. Many are coming to defend the Convention from a threatened disruption by Black Lives Matter protestors. Others will be open carrying simply to protect themselves from anti-Trump hostilities.
Second Amendment advocates on the ground in Cleveland should proceed with caution as Stephen Loomis is sticking to his “I don’t care” attitude with regards to the law.
He told CNN that Cleveland officers will still be targeting anyone they deem as too heavily armed with invasive inspections – whether it’s constitutional or not.
“We are going to be looking very, very hard at anyone who has an open carry,” he said. “An AR-15, a shotgun, multiple handguns. It’s irresponsible of those folks — especially right now — to be coming downtown with open carry AR’s or anything else.“
“I couldn’t care less if it’s legal or not.”
Gun rights and self-defense activists do not generally consider it irresponsible to be well-armed in situations where their safety could be in jeopardy, Mr. Loomis.
As the Police Union president, Loomis should be reprimanded for his incendiary comments. Suggesting such a plan of action to officers under his command is dangerously irresponsible.
It was bad enough he dared to request the governor strip citizens of their Constitutional rights through some over-reaching, Obama-style “executive order”.
But it’s completely unacceptable for him to suggest his officers violate the law.
Responsible gun-owners will have to leave it to their own discretion – whether to go unarmed and unprotected – or to risk the wrath of a police force who has threatened to suppress 2nd Amendment rights this week.