TAMPA, Fla. – Florida Gov. Rick Scott has rejected a request to ban visitors from carrying concealed weapons in downtown Tampa during the Republican National Convention in August.
The request came from Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who wrote Scott to ask for an executive order to override state and federal laws allowing people with concealed weapons permits to carry firearms.
Buckhorn and others are concerned about people carrying guns at such a large, politically charged gathering.
In a same-day response to Buckhorn’s letter Tuesday, Scott, a Republican, said banning guns in the downtown area would infringe upon citizens' constitutionally protected rights to legally arm themselves.
“Like you, I share the concerns that ‘violent anti-government protests or other civil unrest’ can pose dangers,” Scott wrote in his two-page response. “But it is unclear how disarming law-abiding citizens would better protect them from the dangers and threats posed by those who would flout the law.
Scott also said that his understanding is guns are already banned inside the convention center and in the surrounding “safety zone” created by the Secret Service.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.