CLEVELAND, Oh. – The Quicken Loans Arena – site of the upcoming 2016 Republican National Convention – has overruled a decision by the U.S. Secret Service to block attendees from openly carrying weapons at the event. “The American people have spoken and we will not allow their voice to be silenced,” arena spokesman David Alick announced on Wednesday.
Referencing a Change.org petition that was launched last week in support of the right to openly carry firearms at the convention, Alick said the arena – in a show of protest – will instead permit attendees to openly carry bladed weapons. “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” Alick declared as he unsheathed a two-meter long Japanese long sword that he vowed to carry alongside fellow GOP supporters at July’s convention.
Arena officials will release a full list of permitted weapons in the weeks leading up to the convention but according to Mr. Alick, attendees are allowed to bring anything from “pocket knives to swords; sickles, spears, battle axes, and war scythes.” However, for security reasons, blunt weapons, such as baseball bats and mace, are forbidden.
“This is about exercising our constitutional rights,” Ohio governor and GOP presidential candidate John Kasich told Megyn Kelly during an appearance on Fox News. “That Obama and his Secret Service would deny us these fundamental rights while at the same time handing our tax dollars over to illegal immigrants and refugees is possibly the greatest injustice of the twenty-first century,” Kasich said. The Ohio governor said he plans to bring a 7th century Merovingian two-handed battle-axe, on loan from the Smithsonian, to the convention.
A spokesperson for the Secret Service released a statement on Tuesday regarding firearms at the Republican National Convention, saying,” Individuals determined to be carrying firearms will not be allowed past a predetermined outer perimeter checkpoint, regardless of whether they possess a ticket to the event.” However, as of Wednesday afternoon, the Secret Service had not yet taken a position on bladed weapons.