POSTED BY MARTIN KICH
The following is an excerpt from CNN’s Politics Nightcap daily newsletter:
“RNC kick-off: Police union asks for ‘open carry’ suspension
“The head of Cleveland’s largest police union is calling on Ohio Gov. John Kasich to temporarily restrict the state’s open carry gun laws during this week’s Republican National Convention after Sunday’s shooting in Louisiana that killed three officers and wounded at least three others.
“Kasich’s response: No can do. ‘Ohio governors do not have the power to arbitrarily suspend federal and state constitutional rights or state laws as suggested,’ said Kasich press secretary Emmalee Kalmbach.
“The big picture: A city on edge. Months of planning and reassurances from top city officials have done little to quiet concerns here over the potential for violent clashes between law enforcement and protest groups descending on the city ahead of this week’s RNC.”
In any case, Stephen Loomis, the president of Cleveland police union, said about his request to Governor Kasich: “’We are sending a letter to Gov. Kasich requesting assistance from him. He could very easily do some kind of executive order or something–I don’t care if it’s constitutional or not at this point. They can fight about it after the RNC or they can lift it after the RNC, but I want him to absolutely outlaw open-carry in Cuyahoga County until this RNC is over.’”
The Governor responded by denying that he has the authority to issue such an order, adding, “’The bonds between our communities and police must be reset and rebuilt–as we’re doing in Ohio–so our communities and officers can both be safe. Everyone has an important role to play in that renewal.”
And Loomis then responded: “We are going to be looking very, very hard at anyone who has an open carry. An AR-15, a shotgun, multiple handguns. It’s irresponsible of those folks–especially right now–to be coming downtown with open carry AR’s or anything else. I couldn’t care less if it’s legal or not. We are constitutional law enforcement, we love the Constitution, support it and defend it, but you can’t go into a crowded theater and scream fire. And that’s exactly what they’re doing by bringing those guns down there.’”
Consider that statement from the governor’s office in the context of this brief news items from November 2016, written by Darrel Rowland for the Columbus Dispatch:
“Less than two weeks after the terrorist attack on Paris, Ohio is setting up metal detectors and banning backpacks for the first time at all public entrances to the Statehouse.
“The move, proposed by the administration of Gov. John Kasich, was discussed several times in recent years but always dismissed in favor of openness at the ‘people’s House.’ It takes effect Monday.
“’This security upgrade is a proactive measure that provides for the safety of those who work in and visit the Ohio Statehouse,’ said a notice to tenants late Wednesday afternoon from the Capital Square Review and Advisory Board.
“’CSRAB is charged with maintaining the historic integrity of the Statehouse and Capitol Square, while providing for the health and safety of those who work in and visit the Ohio Capitol. As a public building with more than 200,000 annual visitors and hundreds working in the capitol on a daily basis, security and safety of the Ohio Statehouse and Capitol Square is of paramount importance to CSRAB.’
“The memo referred to ‘further security measures’ being brought online. And it noted that the temporary closure of the west Statehouse entrance from High Street will become permanent.
“Currently the security is handled by the State Highway Patrol through cameras and officers at all entrances who inspect items brought into the historic building. Staffers, lobbyists and members of the press have passes that currently allow them to avoid the inspections. State employees also will be allowed to bypass the walk-through metal detectors as well.
“The changes leave the Statehouse with only three public entrances: those off Third and State streets, and one from the top level of the underground parking garage.”