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Sherrod Brown: Governor Should Work To Suspend Ohio's Open-Carry Laws During RNC

“I know the governor could call a hurried special session, get the legislature to Columbus, like, tonight or tomorrow and do this.”

Posted on July 18, 2016, at 12:08 p.m. ET

Angelo Merendino / Getty Images

CINCINNATI — Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown joined calls on Monday for Gov. John Kasich to find a way to temporarily restrict state gun laws for the duration of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

The head of Cleveland’s police union, concerned about violence and unrest in the wake of this summer’s deadly shootings against officers, sent a letter to Kasich urging that he suspend open-carry laws in Cuyahoga County until the RNC concludes at the end of this week.

Brown, the Democratic senator from this state, argued that Kasich could do so by calling a special session of the state legislature.

“I would hope that the governor would listen to the police union and suspend conceal and open carry in Ohio, in Cleveland, during this convention,” Brown said, speaking to reporters outside the annual NAACP conference here in Cincinnati.

“I know the governor could call a hurried special session, get the legislature to Columbus, like, tonight or tomorrow and do this.”

Kasich has said he has no power to suspend the law.

“Ohio governors do not have the power to arbitrarily suspend federal and state constitutional rights or state laws as suggested,” the governor’s spokesperson, Emmalee Kalmbach, said in a statement.

On Sunday, there was an open-carry rally in Cleveland, though few people were reported as attending.

Brown, who told reporters that he has vowed to saying nothing negative about Donald Trump or the GOP for the week the convention is in his home state, has not been to the convention site, but cited pictures he’s seen of people dressed in camouflage and carrying weapons and ammunition.

The images, he said, are “pretty terrifying to a majority of the public."

“I would hope the governor, who because of all of you,” he told the reporters, “has a bit of a moderate reputation — if I could say that for a moment — that the governor would show that and actually lead on an issue that clearly could jeopardize the public safety.”

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