Florida governor rejects Tampa handgun ban during Republican convention
May 2nd, 2012
02:44 PM ET
3 years ago

Florida governor rejects Tampa handgun ban during Republican convention

(CNN) – The Republican governor of Florida rejected Tuesday a request from Tampa's mayor to issue a temporary ban on firearms during the Republican National Convention, slated to take place at the Tampa Bay Times Forum at the end of August.

In a letter addressed to Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Gov. Rick Scott wrote such a ban would infringe on Floridians' constitutional right to bear arms.

"While the government may enforce longstanding prohibitions on the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, an absolute ban on possession in entire neighborhoods and regions would surely violate the 2nd Amendment," Scott wrote.

He was responding to a letter from Buckhorn, also dated Tuesday, requesting Scott issue an executive order banning the transportation of firearms in downtown Tampa during the convention.

"As governor, you have the duty to meet dangers presented by events such as the RNC where there is a threat of substantial injury or harm to Florida residents and visitors to the state," Buckhorn wrote.

The Tampa mayor – a Democrat – said the crush of partisan activists to his city necessitated increased security measures beyond those already planned.

Buckhorn wrote, "Normally, licensed firearms carried in accordance with the Florida Statute requirements do not post 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."

In his response, Scott scoffed at the notion a ban on firearms should extend to all of downtown Tampa, saying the convention center and the area surrounding the building would already be under a gun ban enacted by the Secret Service.

"You are now requesting that citizens be disarmed in all of downtown Tampa, including in areas across the river, and distant, from the convention center and Secret Service safe zone," Scott wrote.

Buckhorn said Wednesday he was "disappointed" in Scott's decision.

"My job as mayor first and foremost is to protect the people of my city, and the law enforcement who serve on the front lines," Buckhorn wrote in a statement.

He added, "While I proudly support the Second Amendment and have held a concealed weapon permit myself, I believe this was a workable, temporary solution. Governor Scott made his position clear. I am disappointed, but we will plan and train accordingly."

CNN's Mark Preston and Emily Robards contributed to this report.


Filed under: Florida • Rick Scott
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Gee

    "Dominican mamma 4 Obama" Are you really as stupid as your posts always present you as being??

    May 2, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  2. Thomas

    I can see Romney has a wide selection to choose from as a VP .

    Rick Scott , Allen West , Chris Christie , Scott Walker , Rick Santorum and Louie Gohmert.
    All of them are qualified ?

    All the GOP needs is a few energy drinks , some guns , a reverse mortgage, a little something to prevent Erectile dysfunction. Then they will be off to Victory in the General elation !

    ROMNEY / SCOTT

    May 2, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  3. Malory Archer

    Democrat Class Warfare – Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Why aren't the Democrats asking for this in NC where they are holding their convention? Can you say cheap political stunt?? But when you're a Democrat, this is about all you have these days.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Obtuse much? Every post you make just makes the answer to that much more obvious – YES, YOU ARE!!! The "ban" would have no effect on idiot rethugliban attending the show – it's to prevent the protesters in "free speech" zones carrying. Rethugliban attendees would still have been permitted to pack heat at events.

    May 2, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  4. ben

    Let's also take away the 13th amendment while we are at it. Just temporarily of course. oh, now you don't like that idea? See, rights don't work like that. You don't turn them on and off at will. There will be no arms in the convention center. But regulate inside someone's home who lives nearby? Fine, ban free speech too. No 99% signs anywhere in the city. Fools. Libs love to talk.. I just wish they would think things through first.

    May 2, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  5. Joi Gibson

    Nice going Lurch!! As a South Floridian, it still amazes me that a state with a heavily senior population would vote for a man who was found guilty of Medicare fraud and had to pay billions of dollars in relief. I simply cannot get over it. The man is an abomination.

    OBAMA/BIDEN/FIRST LADY MICHELLE 2012!!!

    May 2, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  6. ART

    Ladie and Gentleman I give you Max Headroom on crack

    May 2, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    Gee

    "Dominican mamma 4 Obama" Are you really as stupid as your posts always present you as being??
    -------------------------------------------------
    Oh dear! I've hit a nerve have I? Or do you suffer from the GOP's natural aversion to the truth? No matter.
    Your boys are punks,obstructionists, unpatriotic AND stupid. Oh, and they'll lose in November.
    Got milk?!!
    Bwahahahahaha!!!!!

    May 2, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  8. Wake up people

    That's Florida's governor?? Man he looks creepy. He looks like a cross between a zombie and a card carrying klansman.

    OBAMA 2012!

    May 2, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    If you think the request coming friom a D mayor does NOT mean that the Rethugs were behind it you're as clueless as a ....Gee.

    May 2, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    Not a good picture of the Governer. Give him a dingy fedora, a dingy striped sweater, long silver fingernails that look like knives because they are, and what do you get? Your worst nightmare.

    May 2, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  11. kevin

    Dude looks like the lab assistant in Rocky Horror.

    May 2, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  12. Namejkane fl live from teapublican moon base no taxes, no regulation no health care, free gas.

    Scott won't be realected in fl and he can take Rubio and mack with you to somila where you share the same values.

    May 2, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  13. Paul Ernest Show

    What a governor with strong principle and great conviction. The gun industry has already made out the check to his party and he has to deliver.

    May 2, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  14. Namejkane fl live from teapublican moon base no taxes, no regulation no health care, free gas.

    Scott is the number 1 crook in fl, Rubio is number2.Dem landslide coming in Nov .

    May 2, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  15. fernace

    I'm pretty sure the Tampa mayor is trying to call attention to the "stand your ground" law, w/out calling it what it is: Dangerous & Stupid! He did what he could, for now! If anything does happen,God forbid, it will be on Scotts conscience! In "standing his ground" on the Wild West law & making this decision, he's apparently willing to take on that responsibility!!!

    May 2, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  16. Woman In California

    Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    Anytime the truth is told – the republicans can't handle it. Name calling is ALL they do from their basements.

    May 2, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  17. cali girl

    Lurch, lab assistant, oh yeah. He also looks like the scientist from Back to the Future.
    Loving the laughs today.

    May 2, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  18. jamison

    And if some deranged looney starts shooting up the place the NRA will say we need more guns to protect people.
    DUMB & DUMBER.

    May 2, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  19. Jane

    Yes. God forbid we should deny the good people of Florida the right to be mouthbreathing, knuckle-dragging, undereducated, racists morons with penile inadequacy issues. Why can't the entire state just snap off and drift away??

    May 2, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  20. LOL in Colorado

    Dominican Mama rocks as far as I'm concerned.

    You got to give the mayor credit for trying to do his job to protect is town from a bunch of gun toting, tea baggin crazed militia fascists coming to town. With such a high concentration of repub slugs in one area, it will be interesting to see how much the crime rate goes up during the convention...all those Dick Cheney wanna be's, not to mention Charlton Heston descendents...

    May 2, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  21. Dave

    Looking at the foreclosure rates in Florida, they already can't afford their homes much less lawsuits from vigilantes. They need to quit buying guns and pay their mortgages.

    May 2, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  22. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    @ Woman in California and LOL in Colorado:

    I appreciate your support. Thanks.

    May 2, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  23. Jean2

    Why would some one need a hand gun at the Convention??????

    May 2, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    fernace:

    You bring up a good point regarding the Mayor calling attention to that dumbazz "Stand your Ground Law". I took his request as someone stooging for the Rethugs. The GOP has done so much damage to this country via their obstruction, lying, and divisiveness that they would have every reason to fear for their safety during their convention. The fact that they are renowned supporters of NRA, and tout the 2nd Ammendment any chance they get would've made it difficult at best to place the request themselves. Enter the mayor of Tampa to do it for them. However, your point is quite valid and viable.

    May 2, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  25. ThinkAgain

    You know what would be really funny? If a huge crowd of people went to the Tampa Republican convention and decided to "stand their ground" against the threat of all those Republicans ... I'm not advocating people getting shot; I'm just showing my support for Florida's Stand Your Ground law. :)

    May 2, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
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