Secret Service won't let Republicans shoot each other at their convention

The federal force in charge of protecting POTUS and presidential contenders just killed the dreams of nearly 50,000 online petitioners.

The Republican Party might be pro-gun, but it's siding with the US Secret Service, which on Monday overruled nearly 50,000 online petitioners who want the freedom to bring firearms to the GOP's convention this July in Cleveland, Ohio.

Screenshot by Max Taves/CNET

The Secret Service has some common sense advice for the Republican Party: Keep guns out of your convention.

The agency tasked with protecting presidential candidates determined Monday that a giant arena packed with popping balloons, TV cameras and politicians potentially still fuming over their party's choice wasn't the best place for a display of Second Amendment rights.

"Individuals determined to be carrying firearms will not be allowed past a predetermined outer perimeter checkpoint," Rob Hoback, a Secret Service spokesman, said in a statement. Only authorized law enforcement personnel will be allowed to pack heat at the event.

The Secret Service's decision is a setback to the more than 47,000 Rambos, Elmer Fudds and Walker Texas Rangers who signed a Change.org petition over the last week requesting the right to openly display firearms during the GOP convention this July at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. The petition protested the arena's prohibition of weapons, particularly given that Ohio is an open-carry state.

The petition, which was launched on March 23 by someone using the pseudonym The Hyperationalist, called for the arena to allow firearms and said banning such weapons was "a direct affront to the Second Amendment [that] puts all attendees at risk." The petition also noted that Cleveland is regularly ranked among the country's 10 most dangerous cities and reminded potential supporters of the ever-looming threat of an ISIS terrorist attack.

"Without the right to protect themselves, those at the Quicken Loans Arena will be sitting ducks, utterly helpless against evil-doers, criminals or others who wish to threaten the American way of life," The Hyperationalist wrote.

The Hyperationalist didn't respond to a request for comment.

The GOP is taking the advice in stride.

"The Republican National Convention is a National Special Security Event which means the Secret Service is the lead agency," emailed Kirsten Kukowski, a spokeswoman for the convention. "We will defer to their planning as it relates to safety and security of the Convention."

Federal law, specifically Title 18 United States Code Sections 3056 and 1752, gives the Secret Service the authority to ban firearms from sites "visited by our protectees, including those located in open-carry states," according to the Service.

So if you want to bring a gun to the convention, join the Secret Service.

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