Gun Laws & Legislation
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Florida Governor rejects gun ban requested by Tampa Mayor for Republican National Convention

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Alexis Levinson
Political Reporter

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has turned down Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s request to ban the carrying of guns in downtown Tampa during this summer’s Republican National Convention, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

In a letter to Scott, Buckhorn wrote that while the carrying of firearms would normally “not pose a significant threat … in the potentially contentious environment surrounding the RNC, a firearm unnecessarily increases the threat of imminent harm and injury to the residents and visitors of the city.”

Buckhorn requested “an executive order prohibiting the transportation of firearms in downtown Tampa during the RNC,” which will take place in Tampa over four days in August.

A 2011 Florida Law mandates that firearms can only be regulated at the state level; cities and counties may not make their own rules.

Even without any action by Scott, Guns will not be permitted inside the Convention itself under a Secret Service mandated ban. But Buckhorn would like to extend that ban to include all of Downtown Tampa, considered part of the “Event Zone.”

“As governor, you have the duty to meet dangers presented by events such as the RNC where there is a threat of substantial injury or harm to Florida residents and visitors to the state,” Buckhorn said in his letter.

In a statement provided to The Daily Caller, the National Rifle Association applauded Scott’s decision.

“We thank Governor Scott for making the right decision. Governor Scott understands that the focus of the criminal justice system needs to be on the criminals and not on law-abiding Americans,” emailed Andrew Arulanandam of the NRA.

Mayor Buckhorn expressed disappointment in a statement provided to TheDC.

“I believe that there is no reason to have a concealed firearm in downtown Tampa that week. And, to be clear, I am far less concerned with those who have concealed weapons permits than the ones who may somehow acquire a weapon and use it to create mayhem,” Buckhorn said.

“The Republican National Convention … is an extraordinary event. These are extenuating circumstances and should be treated as such,” he went on.

“While I proudly support the Second Amendment and have held a concealed weapon permit myself, I believe this was a workable, temporary solution. Governor Scott made his position clear. I am disappointed, but we will plan and train accordingly,” he concluded.

Gov. Scott’s office did not immediately respond to request for comment.

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