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25,000 Sign Petition to Allow Guns at Republican National Convention

by Elisha Fieldstadt /  / Updated 

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A petition to allow the open carry of firearms at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland had more than 25,000 signatures Saturday evening.

Ohio is an open-carry state, but Quicken Loans Arena, where the convention is set to be held, bans all weapons on the property.

"In accordance with the Ohio’s ‘concealed carry’ law and the right for private entities to ban handguns on their premises, firearms and other weapons of any kind are strictly forbidden on the premises of Quicken Loans Arena," the Arena's policies read.

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The author of the petition, only identified as N A, takes issue with the arena's decision.

"This is a direct affront to the Second Amendment and puts all attendees at risk," the petition says. "By forcing attendees to leave their firearms at home, the RNC and Quicken Loans Arena are putting tens of thousands of people at risk both inside and outside of the convention site."

The City of Cleveland won't comment on specific security measures, but said in a statement last week that "working with our federal, state and local security as well as our business partners we look forward to a successful convention."

A federal spending bill allotted $50 million to Cleveland to offset the cost of security for the convention, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, which reported that the city has proposed using some of the money to buy 2,000 sets of riot gear.

But the petition argues that "without the right to protect themselves, those at the Quicken Loans Arena will be sitting ducks, utterly helpless against evil-doers, criminals or others who wish to threaten the American way of life."

The petition appeals to the Quicken Loans Arena to change their gun policy during the convention, which will be held July 18 to July 21.

It also calls on the National Rifle Association to condemn the state's law, which allows for gun-free zones, and for Ohio Governor and Republican presidential candidate John Kasich to close what it called a "loophole."

The petition also demands Reince Priebus and the Republican National Committee relocate the Republican National Convention — which is less than four months away — and explain "how a venue so unfriendly to Second Amendment rights was chosen for the Republican Convention."

Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Kasich are asked in the petition to "call upon the RNC to rectify this affront to our Second Amendment freedoms."

None of the parties or individuals named in the petition immediately responded to a request for comment from NBC News.

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