That petition to allow guns at the Republican convention? It was created by a gun-control advocate

You’re going to have to leave those outside.
You’re going to have to leave those outside.
Image: Reuters/Rebecca Cook
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A recent petition to allow the “open carry” of guns at the Republican National Convention has amassed nearly 50,000 signatures, even though the US Secret Service just declared the idea too dangerous.

Only “authorized law enforcement personnel” working with the Secret Service can carry a firearm inside the convention, the branch of the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement issued March 28. The Cleveland, Ohio, venue where the convention will be held in July does not allow any firearms at all inside. “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,” a secret service spokesman said.

The petition on, which is just over a week old, was actually designed to put Republican politicians on the spot and spark discussion about the issue. The creator of the petition tells Quartz he is a liberal Democrat and gun-safety advocate, and that he wanted politicians agitating for open-carry laws to think about their own personal safety.

“I’m pretty passionate about gun control,” Jim, who prefers to be identified by his first name only, said in a telephone interview. “Every reasonable reaction to this petition was that seems like a bad idea,” he said. “How do you square that with the things they say, like ‘The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun?'”

Sometimes, he added, “there are circumstances when a gun shouldn’t be in the hands of Joe Q public.”

It is unclear whether the petition’s signatories are gun-control advocates, or actually believe there should be guns at the convention. About 70% of the signatories are male, told CBS, a higher-than-normal ratio of men for the website’s polls.

About 50,000 people, including many Republican politicians and their supporters, are expected at the July convention, where the party’s presidential candidate will officially be chosen.