TAMPA, Fla. - Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn sent a letter to Governor Rick Scott asking for permission to ban guns in certain areas during the RNC. It didn't take long for the mayor to get a response.
The mayor sent out his request on Tuesday, and the governor replied the same day.
"We are disappointed, but not surprised," said Mayor Buckhorn about the governor's reply, that basically said no because it would violate the second amendment.
Given the governor's strong support for the second amendment, Mayor Buckhorn says he did not have high expectations, but hoped he would understand the need for it.
"Some of the people who will be here in August are not exactly model citizens and that there are some people who are coming here with intent on causing mayhem," he said in a press conference Wednesday.
The city has already passed a temporary ordinance to ban a long list of items downtown that they say could be used as weapons, including sticks, poles, hair spray, and water guns.
One big item missing from the list is a real gun -- the governor is the only one that could authorize that.
In his letter back to the mayor, Governor Scott wrote, "... an absolute ban on possession in entire neighborhoods and regions would surely violate the 2nd Amendment."
This means registered gun owners can still carry registered guns downtown during the convention, but water guns are off-limits.
The irony -- or absurdity -- has everything to do with the constitution.
"The fact that it doesn't speak to guns, because the law doesn't it allow it to speak towards guns, doesn't mean that all of the sudden it has become this dangerous or unsafe place," said Eric Adams, an attorney at Shutts & Bowen in Tampa.
Adams is very familiar with the issue and doesn't see any other option for the city to legally ban guns in what's being called the "event zone."
"The best option is dedicating and redoubling his resources towards the public safety," he said.
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