Rick Scott to Tampa: I Won't Ban Guns Outside GOP Convention

By: Jim Turner | Posted: May 2, 2012 11:10 AM
Downtown Tampa

Overview of Downtown Tampa, Florida | Credit: travel.aol.com

Gov. Rick Scott shot down a request by Tampa City Council members to alter the state’s gun law for the city downtown when the Republican National Convention comes to town this August.

While the city has the ability on its own to temporarily ban water guns, sticks and poles, Scott stated that firearm possession is covered by Article I, Section 8 of the Florida Constitution and the Second Amendment.

"The choice to allow the government to ban sticks and poles, but not firearms, is one that the people made in enacting their state and federal constitutions," Scott wrote Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

"Like you, I share the concern that 'violent, anti-government protests or other civil unrest' can pose 'dangers' and the 'threat of substantial injury or harm to Florida residents and visitors of the state," Scott wrote. 

"But It is unclear how disarming law-abiding citizens would better protect them from the dangers and threats posed by those who would flout the law. It is at just such times that the constitutional right to self-defense is most precious and must be protected from government overreach.”

With the GOP convention set for the city from Aug. 27 to Aug. 30, the city has sought a pre-emption from a state law that threatens officials with fines or a loss of office if they seek to impose rules that supersede the state laws on possession of licensed concealed guns.

City officials have noted that the governor can suspend gun laws using the same executive-order powers that allow him to ban the sale of alcohol during a state of emergency.

In his two-page letter to the governor, Buckhorn had argued, "Normally, licensed firearms carried in accordance with the Florida statute requirements do not pose a significant threat to the public.

"However, 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."

Scott noted that the security plan will ban firearms in the convention center and a “safe zone” established by the Secret Service.

“We have had political conventions in this country since the dawn of the republic,” Scott wrote. “They are an essential means of furthering our constitutional rights to free speech and to vote. Our fundamental right to keep and bear arms has coexisted with those freedoms for just as long, and I see no reason to depart from that tradition this year.”

Reach Jim Turner at jturner@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 215-9889.

Comments (11)

David Lane
2:18PM MAY 3RD 2012
Would be potential attendees should beware in coming to Tampa for that event. The current stand on any number of issues that candidates, the party and those currently in office have taken could be explosive. I'll bet a lot of people who had planned to this event may develop second thoughts.
10:32PM MAY 2ND 2012
Yeah - leave it to the Feds - that's it, let them ban the guns in and around the arena - then we can blame Obama and use it to demonize him for taking away our guns . . . yeah, brilliant strategy . . . oh, unless that darn Stand Your Ground raises it's ugly head and someone does something stupid outside the Republican Convention Center which is covered by Stand Your Ground . . . then we Republicans would have to scream 2nd amendment über alles again and defend them against all charges no matter how egregious and lose the election to more rational voters . . . . yeah, brilliant, but DUMB strategy . . . .
Clint Mear
12:00PM MAY 2ND 2012
At least any would be assassins will be met with equal force. That aside; I don't believe any "would be assassins" would follow any gun laws in the first place.
William in Tampa
11:50AM MAY 2ND 2012
ANY KIND OF BAN would only serve to draw attention to THE GUN LAWS of our state. Those who have Concealed Carry permits have been trained and are law-abiding citizens aware of our fair implementation of Amendment 2 in Florida.

If there are any GUN VIOLATIONS that occur during the convention, they will happen due to CRIMINALS - those who DO NOT have proper training and licensing.

If anything, we might find that our gun laws PREVENT illegal activity, and act as a reinforcement to our legal law enforcement officers.
3:54PM MAY 2ND 2012
The State of Florida does not issue permits. The Florida Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services issue a Concealed Weapon or Firearms Licenses. Florida training standers in concealed carry training are a joke. Gun shows and one shot wonder classes lasting lasting fifteen minutes will change when a Florida NRA instructor screw up bad enough and we watch it on national TV.
Robert Lloyd
7:50PM MAY 2ND 2012
>>The State of Florida does not issue permits. The Florida Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services issue a Concealed Weapon or Firearms Licenses.<<

The FDACS is the State of Florida. And no one should have to have training to carry a gun... unless it is as a well regulated militia. But even with that, no one can effectively explain (or guess) what that even is.
11:50AM MAY 2ND 2012
Why not just issue a written invitation to all would-be assassins to come to the convention? This country is NUTS!
Robert Lloyd
7:54PM MAY 2ND 2012
ATTENTION ALL ASSASSINS!!! Windrider2 will be at Nebraska Ave and Dale Mabry tomorrow at 3:45PM. He's in a gray Toyota with an O'bama sticker on the back bumper. Don't miss!
11:47AM MAY 2ND 2012
If you can prevent crime without guns why are the police armed?

Rick is 100% correct as usual. He would make a good President.
10:36PM MAY 2ND 2012
Yes, any first term Governor with a 54% disapproval rating, repeatedly being found by the courts to be unconstitutional is a prime candidate for the Presidency . . . . at least to oblivious Palinites.
Joanne Walczak
11:28AM MAY 2ND 2012
Good for you Governor!!!!
Semer Fi

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