Should Guns be Allowed Inside RNC Event Zone?
If you have a permit to carry a concealed weapon, you can bring a gun inside the seven-square-mile security zone at the RNC event in St. Pete. Umbrellas and water guns are prohibited.
At last Thursday's agenda review session a few St. Petersburg City Council members lamented the city's recently passed "Event Zone" ordinance that restricts what people can carry inside the zone during the week of the Republican National Convention.
What's legal inside the zone?
A 2 x 4 board? No.
Water guns? Nope.
Concealed guns? Yes.
"We’re going to restrict boards and water guns, but the ones that fire real bullets we’re going to leave in," Council Member Steve Kornell said at Thursday's meeting.
Council member Wengay Newton asked if there would be metal detectors or people checking concealed weapons permits in the "Event Zone." City Attorney John Wolfe said, "probably not."
While a few members of Council have reservations about allowing concealed guns, there are no plans from the city to try and limit access.
A 2011 Florida law prohibits local lawmakers from regulating guns or ammunition, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Earlier this year, Gov. Rick Scott turned down Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn's request to issue an executive order allowing the city to ban concealed firearms in the zone. Scott argued it would be a violation of the Second Amendment, the Times reports.
From Aug. 26 - 30 the expansive "Event Zone" will cover more than 7-square miles of the city. On Aug. 26, Tropicana Field will host the official RNC 2012 Kick-Off Party.
The zone will extend from Fifth Avenue North to Seventh Avenue South and from 22nd Street to the Bay.
Last week, Secret Service also announced street and sidewalks closures on the days leading up to the opening event as well as day of.