Protesters Might Be Armed
There are thousands of protestors expected to show up for both the Republican and Democratic national conventions this summer. This year they can come much more armed than just carrying slogans and signs. North Carolina and Florida state law allows for people to carry concealed weapons, including firearms.
The Republicans will have their convention in Tampa in August and officials have started to worry about guns being toted around by people in a politically charged arena. On Thursday, the Tampa City Council voted to speak with Governor Rick Scott to see if a temporary ban on concealed weapons can be arranged.
Officials in Charlotte have not voiced any concern of yet publically, but with the two cities trying to balance First and Second Amendments rights and public safety, it’s likely Charlotte will have to eventually address the same issue.
Tampa wants Governor Scott to issue one of his executive orders, preventing people with permits for concealed weapons from carrying them. Tampa leaders have already proposed banning a host of different items such as lumber, gas masks, hatchets, water cannons and chains. However, it is against the law to outlaw concealed weapons. Bob Buckhorn the Mayor of Tampa said the statewide law has made the city of Tampa look silly. He says the law allows them to ban water guns by not the real ones.
In Charlotte, it is even more complicated. In January, the city approved an ordinance allowing it to have extraordinary event areas where people would be banned from carrying backpacks and other items. They also wanted to ban guns in those areas, but state laws allows for concealed weapons unless you are at a protest or parade.