Guns and Gear

Grenades, machetes sold at store adjacent to protest camp ‘Romneyville’ outside RNC

Melissa Quinn Contributor
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TAMPA, Fla. — On Tuesday, The Daily Caller pulled the pin on an Army/Navy Surplus store located in Tampa, Fla., the site of the 2012 Republican National Convention.

Upon entering the store, TheDC was able to purchase a grenade, sold sans fuse. In speaking with store employees, TheDC learned about an assortment of weapons that could be sold to any customer, despite heightened security in Tampa.

Neither Secret Service nor local law enforcement visited the store to speak about weapons sales. The Army/Navy Surplus store sits adjacent to “Romneyville,” a camp site for Occupy Wall Street protesters.

Employees inside the store said any customer could take a whack at purchasing an assortment of machetes and knives, noting each citizen had a right to buy whatever they wanted and could carry the weapons as long as they were not concealed underneath clothing.

Hundreds of law enforcement officers, ranging from local sheriff’s deputies to agents with the Department of Homeland Security, descended upon Tampa to ensure all operations ran smoothly. More than 40,000 protesters were expected to travel to the city, and all protests thus far have remained non-violent.

However, police did arrest a protester with a machete strapped to his leg, Bay News 9 reported Tuesday.

Jason T. Wilson was walking inside the RNC’s event zone when he was approached by deputies. Despite receiving orders to stop, Wilson continued walking and was restrained by police.

Despite a lack of warning to the Army/Navy Surplus store, a policeman did order a protester to remove the sticks from a Mitt Romney puppet during a protest, even though they were within a previously outlined approved length. The deputy told the protester he could remove the sticks or go to jail.

Grae Stafford contributed to this report.

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