The Cleveland police union is calling for Ohio Gov. John Kasich to suspend Ohio’s open carry law for the Republican National Convention in the wake of the shooting in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Sunday that killed three police officers and left several others wounded.
"We are sending a letter to Gov. Kasich requesting assistance from him," Stephen Loomis, the president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, told CNN. "He could very easily do some kind of executive order or something — I don’t care if it’s constitutional or not at this point. They can fight about it after the RNC or they can lift it after the RNC, but I want him to absolutely outlaw open-carry in Cuyahoga County until this RNC is over."
Protests against Donald Trump are anticipated this week in Cleveland as the businessman is set to officially receive the Republican presidential nomination. In the days leading up to the convention, people have also been waiting outside the convention center exercising their open carry rights.
Emmalee Kalmbach, a spokesperson for Kasich, issued a statement rejecting the request: "Ohio governors do not have the power to arbitrarily suspend federal and state constitutional rights or state laws as suggested."
Officials have yet to confirm the motivations behind the Baton Rouge shooting and whether police officers were intentionally targeted. However, police departments across the country have been on edge in recent weeks following the Dallas shooting on July 7 where five officers were killed by a sniper at the tail end of a protest against police brutality.
But as the Cleveland police union seeks to suspend open carry, it may be important to consider what contemporary gun laws mean for both civilians’ and police officers’ safety.
Watch: America’s gun problem, in 18 charts