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Thanks To Florida Pro-Gun Law, Tampa Can’t Stop RNC Protesters From Packing Heat

By Ian Millhiser  

"Thanks To Florida Pro-Gun Law, Tampa Can’t Stop RNC Protesters From Packing Heat"

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The Republican Party’s decision to host their presidential nominating convention in Florida this year could have an unexpected consequence — armed protesters:

Hoping to head off violent protesters during the Republican National Convention, Mayor Bob Buckhorn has proposed a litany of items that will be considered security threats during the week-long event.

The list runs from air pistols to water pistols and also includes items such as masks, plastic or metal pipe and string more than six inches long.

Conspicuously absent from the list of potential weapons: Firearms.

That’s because state law bans local governments from placing any restrictions on the carrying of guns in public spaces.

Fortunately, Florida lacks the power to prevent federal officials from doing their job, so the Secret Service will still be able to ban guns in a smaller “security zone” surrounding the convention site itself. Lest there be any doubt, there is no legitimate Second Amendment issue here. As Justice Scalia explained in District of Columbia v. Heller, the Constitution does not limit “laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings.” Certainly, a convention that includes a major party’s presidential nominee and a significant percentage of the nation’s elected officials should qualify as such a “sensitive place.”

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