Florida Gov. Rick Scott has rejected a request from the Tampa mayor to prohibit the carrying of guns in downtown during the Republican National Convention this summer because it would infringe upon “sacred constitutional traditions,” according to a letter released Wednesday.
Concerned about the politically charged atmosphere on the streets outside the convention hall, Mayor Bob Buckhorn wrote to Scott Tuesday asking for an executive order that would temporarily override state laws allowing people with concealed weapons permits to transport firearms downtown.
The Republican governor fired off a letter to Buckhorn later Tuesday, denying the request in no uncertain terms. Scott said banning firearms in downtown Tampa would infringe on citizens’ constitutionally protected rights to legally arm themselves.
Scott wrote that while he shared Buckhorn’s concern about violent anti-government protests and other civil unrest, “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.”