In a letter dated May 1, the governor responded to Buckhorn's request by making it appear that the mayor is a gun-control advocate, writing, "My understanding is that the current security plan will ban firearms in the convention center itself, as well as in an immediately adjacent 'safe zone' established by the Secret Service. You are now requesting that citizens be disarmed in all of downtown Tampa, including in areas across the river, and distant, from the convention center and Secret Service Zone."
Scott said the answer could be found in the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution, and in Article I, Section 8 of the Florida Constitution, referencing that whole part about the right to "keep and bear arms."
The governor also references the complaint that "sticks, poles and water guns" are banned in what is being called the "event zone," but guns are not. Scott then brings back the 2nd Amendment in the letter, writing that "firearms are noticeably included" in the Constitution.
What's left unsaid in Scott's response: Not every state has legislation like Florida's that bans local governments from creating their own laws to regulate guns.
The Tampa City Council had discussed sending their own letter to Governor Scott about the gun law. Scott's announcement today makes that academic.
Several comedians have had fun with the fact that Tampa is attempting to ban items like squirt guns inside the "event zone," but cannot ban guns. But that will be the reality on the ground in late August, when thousands of protesters will be in Tampa, along with thousands of Republican delegates.
(UPDATE 1:53 p.m. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn issued a press release regarding the governor's response this afternoon. It reads as follows:
“My job as mayor first and foremost is to protect the people of my city, and the law enforcement who serve on the front lines.
“I believe that there is no reason to have a concealed firearm in downtown Tampa that week. And, to be clear, I am far less concerned with those who have concealed weapons permits than the ones who may somehow acquire a weapon and use it to create mayhem.
“The Republican National Convention has been designated as a National Special Security Event by the Department of Homeland Security. It is an extraordinary event. These are extenuating circumstances and should be treated as such.
“While I proudly support the Second Amendment and have held a concealed weapon permit myself, I believe this was a workable, temporary solution. Governor Scott made his position clear. I am disappointed, but we will plan and train accordingly.”