Guns Permitted Near Republican National Convention, Tight Security Plans In Doubt

As the Republican National Convention (RNC) approaches next month in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the city prepares for a unique security challenge. Due to the state’s concealed-carry and open-carry laws, and no regulations to create more distance or between the protests and the convention, attendees and locals will be allowed to carry firearms within blocks of the convention — Biden’s cronies strike again.

Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman emphasized the importance of responsible behavior during a Friday press conference detailing the security measures. “Just don’t do anything that could be considered a threat to our community. It will not, it will not be tolerated,” Norman stated. “We have the understanding and respect for those who are carrying concealed or carrying open carry. It’s about behaviors.”

The restricted zone where guns are banned is relatively small, with the majority of the area around the convention still open to legally carried firearms. Chief Norman, who has applied for the position of police chief in Austin, Texas, has been credited with reducing homicides in Milwaukee by 40% following a peak in violence in 2022.

Recent incidents, including a police shooting that resulted in the death of an unborn baby after a vehicle chase, highlight the ongoing challenges faced by law enforcement in the city.

This context adds a layer of complexity to the security planning for the convention.
During a joint press conference with the Secret Service, Nick DeSiato, chief of staff for Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson, stated that over a hundred groups have registered to protest during the convention. None of the applications for protest have been denied, and two speaker platforms will be set up near the security perimeter to ensure demonstrators are within “sight and sound” of the RNC.

The city’s adherence to state laws on concealed and open carry was reaffirmed by DeSiato. “We’re governed by the Constitution,” he said, emphasizing that local regulations cannot override state laws.

Pere Marquette Park, designated as a protest zone, has been incorporated into the hard security perimeter due to its proximity to the convention venues. Secret Service RNC Coordinator Audrey Gibson-Cicchino confirmed this decision, prioritizing the safety of delegates, guests, and the community.

RNC spokesman Kush Desai assured that the collaboration with the Secret Service and local law enforcement aims to balance security with First Amendment rights. “Ensuring the safety and security of our delegates, guests, officials, members of the media, and the entire Milwaukee community while standing up for our First Amendment rights and liberties have always been topmost priorities for the Republican National Convention,” Desai said.

Former President Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for the 2024 Presidential Election, is expected to attend the convention. Governor Tony Evers has declared a state of emergency ahead of the event, enabling additional security measures, including the possible deployment of the Wisconsin National Guard.

As the convention draws near, the focus remains on maintaining a secure environment while respecting the rights of all participants and attendees. The interplay of state gun laws and heightened security measures presents a challenging but manageable situation for law enforcement and organizers.