Gov. Rick Scott rejected Tampa’s request to ban carrying concealed weapons outside the Republican National Convention, reports the Tampa Bay Times. Mayor Bob Buckhorn asked Scott yesterday for an executive order prohibiting the transportation of firearms in downtown Tampa during the convention. In a response the same day, Scott suggests that Tampa is overreaching in its request. Already, he says, the Secret Service will ban firearms inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum itself as well as in a security perimeter immediately around the convention campus.
“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 said. A 2011 state law pre-empts cities and counties from passing local laws regulating firearms or ammunition. As a result, Tampa plans to ban many weapons (clubs, slingshots, brass knuckles) and items that could be used as weapons (crowbars, glass bottles, water pistols) outside the Aug. 27-30 convention — but it cannot ban guns carried with a state concealed weapons permit. Amid the protests near the convention, someone with a concealed weapon could end up in an incident covered by Florida’s “stand your ground” law. That’s the law that has fueled controversy over a neighborhood watch volunteer’s fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.