Florida governor rejects Tampa handgun ban during Republican convention
May 2nd, 2012
02:44 PM ET
2 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. Rudy NYC

    "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.
    ---------------
    You need to read the Civil Rights Act of 1964, governer. The POTUS has the right to issue any presidential order that he sees fit in the interests of national security.

    May 2, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  2. bethjoyce

    Who really needs the right to bear arms in the vicinity of a political conventions. I'm sure the Founding Fathers wouldn't mind.

    May 2, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    Yeeeeehaw!!!! You're rootin' tootin' right!!!! Nothing says "freedom" like a potential security disaster in a large captive crowd peppered with powerful elected officials!!! Yeeeeeeeehaw!!!!

    May 2, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  4. Marie MD

    Talk about tea tards in their own bubble of stupid. After all that has happened since Trayvon Martin was gunned down by an overzealous cop wannabe loser he still doesn't get it? This is why we don't need rich politicians. Don't just don't care!!!
    How did Florida end up with this clown?

    May 2, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  5. Rosslaw

    Handguns. Hey, what about hand grenades? What would a Republican convention be without hand grenades!

    May 2, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  6. Data Driven

    Oh, let 'em carry. No liberals will be there, anyway.

    May 2, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  7. mike

    this guy is an idiot..lets bring on Wyatt Earp its the wild west in Floridas convention a grrrrrreat idea Mr Scott...!

    May 2, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The NRA runs Gov. Scott, he is merely doing what he was told by NRA cartoon character Pepe LaPierre.

    May 2, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  9. 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.

    May 2, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  10. Switters

    The wing-nuts want to be able to 'carry' anywhere they want.

    The 'floor' of the GOP convention sounds 'just about right' to me.........

    May 2, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  11. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    What better way for the right wing chicken hawks to pretend they are tough? I hope mittens brings his varmint gun.

    May 2, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  12. Woman In California

    Florida is a TOTAL MESS and I am so glad I left there years ago. Having said that-I feel real sorry for my relatives still there. Anytime republicans are allowed to infilitrate the results are deaths, deficits and depression. Floridians need to REJECT these republican masterminds of deception and get their state back on a fiscal path of prosperity and dignity by voting a straight democratic ticket in November.

    May 2, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  13. Scott

    So if someone at the convention gets shot, I think we have suspect number 1...

    May 2, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  14. Janine

    What is wrong with this country? It isn't the "old west" anymore when such stupid laws may have made sense. Why on earth does someone need a gun at an event like this? That's crap.

    May 2, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  15. Richard Miller

    Great! Now we can see the folly of the NRA's gun laws....just hope that there are lots of body bags in that state.

    May 2, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  16. Bill

    What a loser. No wonder his approval rating is 30%.

    May 2, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  17. Namejkane fl live from teapublican moon base no taxes, no regulation no health care, free gas.

    All these teapublican bafoon gov will be out of a job come Nov, and they can take Rubio and mack and the rest of the republican morons with them when they all go down in the Dem landslide in Nov , even in the redneck south.

    May 2, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  18. rs

    The question that must be asked is why would anyone need a gun at a political rally or convention? This is what happens when crazy Republicans become the mouthpiece for the crazy head of the NRA. Republicans *might* find life a bit easier if they actually worked for the people who elected them instead of the people who bought them.

    May 2, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  19. Darlene

    All I can say is "IDIOT"!!!

    May 2, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  20. Gurgyl

    GOP=thugs of USA.

    May 2, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  21. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    This is too rich!
    The GOP is AFRAID of the very things they espouse? They don't want guns around during THEIR convention but when the Teatards were carrying weapons out in the open within yards of President Obama no one could say anything because that would've been an infringement on their rights. But now that it is their hide that could be shot a la Gifford, they're seeking protection.
    Bunch of simpering punks the whole lot of them.
    Suck it up and take the, er, bite the bullet like the men you wish you were.

    May 2, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  22. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    The teabaggers and Ron Paulbots will need their guns to turn out the Anybody but Mitt McCain convention when the word comes from the back room deals. Obama/Biden 2012!

    May 2, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  23. Namejkane fl live from teapublican moon base no taxes, no regulation no health care, free gas.

    Great, I hope they all take each other out. Nobody will miss any of the republican bums!!

    May 2, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  24. Prosperid

    JUST GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE'VE SEEN HOW MITT ROMNEY'S SECRET SERVICE STOPPED AN ATTACK FROM THE GLITTER BOMBER, LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! STOPPING A GUY WITH A GUN WILL BE TOUGH, LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 2, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  25. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    This is the first and probably ONLY thing that Governor I am Legend and I agree on: "the hell to the no" answer he gave those cowering cowards.

    May 2, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
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