Executive Order to Ban Concealed Carry
Rob Houglum LeadLinkMedia.com Friday, April 27, 2012
TAMPA, Fla. -- The many thousands of demonstrators expected at the Democratic and Republican state conventions can come armed with a lot more than signs and slogans : State law in Florida and North Carolina permits concealed weapons, including guns.
In Tampa, where the RNC will hold its revelry this fall, officers are beginning to fret about folks toting guns in such a politically-charged environment. The City Council voted Thursday to ask Republican Gov. Rick Scott to help them momentarily ban concealed weapons. Charlotte officers have yet to publically express concern, but with both cities attempting to balance public safety with First and Second Modification rights, it's likely the host town for the Democratic convention will also have to address the issue.
The Tampa City Council wants Scott to give out an executive order, stopping folks with concealed weapons authorizes from carrying guns.
"We believe it's necessary and provident to take this reasonable step to stop a potential tragedy," council member Lisa Montelione asserted in a draft letter to Scott.
Tampa city leaders have already proposed a large number of banned items ( lumber, hatchets, gas masks, chains and "super soaker" water cannons ) - but they're forestalled from outlawing concealed guns. Florida and North Carolina have laws prohibiting local officials from pre-empting state gun ordinances.
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn declared the state law has made the town "look silly," especially because officers can ban water guns although not real ones.
"We're kind of constricted by the state law," he announced.
Charlotte officials also believe they're hamstrung.
"We can't change what the state legislative council has in place," declared Mark Newbold, a lawyer with the police dept.
Several thousand delegates, journalists and political junkies will stream into the mid scale cities for the multi-day conventions. Republicans hold their event at the Tampa Bay Times Arena during Aug. 27-30. The Left wingers ' party is a week later at the time Warner Cable Arena. Inside the arenas, the Secret Service has banned non combatants from carrying guns.
Both towns have hosted big gatherings before - Tampa has held four Super Bowls and Charlotte has entertained the Atlantic Coast Conference basketball tournament and the Nation's Rifle Association convention - but neither has actually experienced an event like this.
In the last fifty years, political conventions have now become a magnet for objectors, and they have often turned repulsive.
In 1968, demonstrators attempted to disrupt the Democratic Countrywide Convention in Chicago. Scenes of police clashing with protesters on the streets played on telly screens in living rooms across America. Four years on, anti-war demonstrators disturbed the Republican National Convention in Miami Beach.
More recently, thousands of objectors descended on St. Paul, Minn, in 2008, when the town hosted the Republican Nationwide Convention. Some protesters broke cars, punctured tires and threw bottles in a confrontation with pepper-spray using police. Masses of folk were captured over one or two days.
"Everything we do is based on something that occurred at another convention or another national security event," Tampa City Attorney Jim Shimberg expounded.
The government has given $50 million each to Charlotte and Tampa to help them pay for new security-related gear, coaching and officer salaries.
Tampa is proposing a "Clean Sector" protest area with portable toilets, water, a stage and a microphone for protesters. Outside that area, folks will be allowed to march down an official parade route as long as they have got a permit.
The exact location of the protest sectors and security perimeter will be decided by the city commission in the approaching weeks.
Joyce Hamilton Henry, the director of the mid-Florida office of the American Civil Freedoms Union, expounded her organisation is concerned about protests that'll be restricted to 1 hour, and a ban on masks.
"We feel it's very unrealistic, particularly if groups are coming in with enormous numbers," Hamilton Henry declared.
The Tampa Police Office is predicted to rotate the majority of its 1,000-officer force into convention security during the event, which could draw up to 45,000 folk. An additional 3,000 officials from other agencies round the state will help.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Dept plans to add 2,400 to 3,400 officers from outside departments to its force of more than 1,750.
For the convention there, a coalition of groups has formed because they announced they are indignant the town has declined to share information regarding where they can gather.
The Coalition to Protest at the DNC has threatened to gather without allows, and promised a massive demonstration Sept. Two in what they call the The Street of the South.
Charlotte, a city of 760,000 folk, is home to B. O. A Corp, one of the country's biggest banks.
"This is a thing we have to do. They cannot stop our right to protest," declared Ben Carroll, a coalition speaker.
Members of the coalition recounted they're still irritated about how police in February disbanded an Occupy Charlotte tent city on the turf outside of the old City Hall. Protesters had been camped there since October.
The move came one week after Charlotte adopted an incredible event ordinance limiting political demonstrations before this year's convention. The new rules give police more power to stop and search folk when the convention comes to town. And people won't be allowed to carry back packs and other items in designated areas.
Tags: Second Amendment, 2nd Amendment, Florida Second Amendment