TAMPA, FLA. -- Tampa city council members continue their efforts to make the Republican National Convention in August a 'gun-free zone.'
Florida state law permits people with licenses to carry concealed firearms in public, and it also forbids cities from contravening that law with locally more stringent regulations.
City officials, facing the GOP's convention this summer, have been voicing the same worries that were expressed, long ago, by opponents of Florida's Concealed Carry legislation.
Part of the convention space is already off-limits to people packing pistols, but the city of Tampa wanted that ban to extend to all areas associated with the convention.
Gov. Rick Scott apparently didn't buy into the city's arguments, and refused to suspend the state law on account of the convention.
City officials have resorted to petitioning the feds, considering a letter to the U.S. Justice Department.
Council members like Lisa Monteleone have said they believe gun owners will understand it if the council, in these circumstances, requires them to leave their guns at home.
Some observers, however, have said city officials are being transparently hypocritical over the issue, appealing to the federal government when the state government didn't give them the answers they wanted to hear.
The firearms flap comes at a bad time for the city, too. A state poll released this week shows that a clear majority oppose government interference with Second Amendment rights, be it on the federal, state, or local levels.