The city of Cleveland on Wednesday announced wide-ranging rules for the Republican National Convention, designed to control protesters and maintain security during the event. The rules, announced by Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and RNC Secret Service Coordinator Ronald Rowe Jr., cover a designated “event zone,” a secondary security area outside the hard “security perimeter” that will surround the Quicken Loans Arena. Officials have not yet announced the boundaries of the security perimeter.
The event zone rules designate parade routes and times, along with the location of a speaker’s platform at Public Square. Officials also announced permitting procedures for park use by protesters during the GOP convention. Civil liberties group are objecting to the stringent permitting regulations, saying that their free speech rights are being infringed upon.
In addition, the city of Cleveland and Secret Service also released a list of items that will be banned within the event zone. First and foremost, you should know that some guns will be permitted. If you have a legal right to carry a gun in Ohio, you’ll be permitted to carry it within the event zone. While the “security perimeter” around the Quicken Loans Arena will be a gun-free zone because it has been designated a National Special Security Event by the secretary of Homeland Security, DHS doesn’t have jurisdiction over the “event zone” and state firearms laws apply.
While you may be able to bring your Ruger, don’t even think about bringing an air rifle, air pistol, paintball gun, BB gun, or pellet gun. The same goes for switchblades or knives with blades longer than 2 1/2″. And you’re out of luck if you were planning to have some fun with your cestus, billy, blackjack, sword, saber, blackjack, metal knuckles, or nunchucks. All banned.
If you thought you’d embark on a building project while you were in Cleveland, think again. No large lumber, thick metal or plastic allowed. Also not allowed: pipe and tubing.
Anarchists who are hellbent on blowing up a bridge while they are in town will be disappointed to learn that blasting caps, dangerous ordnance, explosives, and incendiary devices are not allowed.
And too bad for you if you were hoping to film the event from your drone. Not happening during convention week! Also, leave your lasers at home. This thing’s going to be a geek-free zone.
Next: more banned items and the complete list.
I don’t even want to know why they need a rule banning containers of bodily fluids, nevertheless, there is one. (Actually, I do know why. My beloved home state has a huge problem with people peeing in bottles. One study found nearly a million bottles of urine along Ohio’s roadsides in one year alone!)
Convention attendees who were planning to pack tactical gear in case things get out of hand with protesters are going to have to come up with a Plan B. Not only are you not allowed to bring mace or pepper spray to protect yourself, you can’t even bring a gas mask! Do authorities want you to go straight to your gun for protection? Sheesh.
And none of those menacing water guns allowed, either. (Apparently they’ve forgotten how hot it gets in Cleveland in the middle of July! I’m beginning to think these people have something against fun.)
If you screwed up and didn’t score a hotel within 300 miles of the convention and were thinking that camping might give you a way to get close to the action … sorry … Cleveland frowns upon that. No tents, shelters, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, mattresses, cots, hammocks, bivy sacks, or stoves. The city is also apparently against other forms of fun—like tailgate parties. No coolers or ice chests allowed. (I’m pretty sure we can thank those Occupy Cleveland kids for these restrictions. They way overstayed their welcome on Public Square a few years back and ruined the downtown camping thing for everyone.)
Fans of Spider-Man 3 may know that several scenes from the movie were filmed in Cleveland. If you were planning to scale the Terminal Tower Spider-Man style with your grappling hook, forget about it. That’s another item on the banned list.
And finally (I think this one may be specifically directed at PJM’s very own Roger L Simon, who will be at the convention and who is a known tennis fan and player), no tennis balls allowed! (Because tennis balls are fun and these people hate fun!)
Next page: see the complete list of banned items.
- Lumber larger than 2” in width and ¼” thick, including supports for signs;
- Metal, plastic, or other hard material larger than ¾” thick and 1/8” in wall thickness including pipe and tubing;
- Any air rifle, air pistol, paintball gun, blasting caps, switchblade or automatic knife, knife having a blade two and one-half (2-1/2) inches in length or longer, cestus, billy, blackjack, sword, saber, hatchet, axe, slingshot, BB gun, pellet gun, wrist shot, blackjack, metal knuckles, nunchucks, mace, iron buckle, axe handle, shovel, or other instrumentality used to cause property or personal damage;
- Any dangerous ordnance, weapon, or firearm that is prohibited by the laws of the State of Ohio;
- Any explosives, explosive device, or incendiary device;
- Fireworks and rockets;
- Sound Amplification Equipment;
- Drones and other unmanned aircraft systems;
- Containers of bodily fluids;
- Aerosol cans;
- Mace, Pepper Spray or other chemical irritant;
- Umbrellas with metal tips;
- Any projectile launchers, such as water guns and water cannons;
- Rope, chain, cable, strapping, wire, string, line, tape, or any similar material, in lengths greater than 6’;
- Glass bottles, ornaments, light bulbs, ceramic vessels, and any other frangible container, regardless of whether the container holds any substance;
- Locks including, without limitation, padlocks, bicycle locking devices, chain locks or similar devices, but not including: (i) an integral component of a conveyance or structure; (ii) locks when utilized by the owner of private real property to secure permanent or temporary fencing; or (iii) locks attached to a bicycle;
- Any gas mask or similar device designed to filter all air breathed by the wearer in an attempt to protect the respiratory tract and/or face against irritating or noxious gasses or other materials. This prohibition on gas masks shall not apply to any person wearing a medical oxygen mask that fits over the nose and mouth of the person and provides oxygen from an oxygen tank to the person;
- Tents and other shelters, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, mattresses, cots, hammocks, bivy sacks, or stoves;
- Coolers or ice chests;
- Backpacks and bags exceeding the size of 18” x 13” x 7”;
- Non-plastic containers, bottles, cans, or thermoses;
- Grappling hooks, sledgehammers, hammers, and crowbars;
- Canned goods;
- Tennis balls
Read the Official RNC Event Zone Permit Regulations here.