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RNC 'Event Zone' Rules Get OK From Tampa City Council

Most weapons — but not concealed firearms carried with a permit — will be banned in the area surrounding the Republican National Convention, including part of Harbour Island and the University of Tampa.

If you work in downtown, attend classes at the University of Tampa or plan to visit the area during the August Republican National Convention, here's some news you need to know about.

The Tampa City Council has voted to ban most weapons from the "Event Zone" set up for protests around this summer's Republican National Convention.

The zone — which includes downtown north to Interstate 275 and Interstate 4, Ybor City, the northern part of Harbour Island and an area across the Hillsborough River that includes the University of Tampa — is city officals' attempt to keep demonstrators safe in an area designated for protests.

But Thursday's 4-2 council vote (with Mary Mulhern and Yvonne Yolie Capin dissenting) does not include restrictions on the carrying of concealed firearms in the Event Zone. A 2011 Florida law prohibits local lawmakers from regulating guns or ammunition, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Gov. Rick Scott turned down Mayor Bob Buckhorn's request to issue an executive order allowing the city to ban concealed firearms in the zone, arguing it would be a violation of the Second Amendment, the Times reports.

The Event Zone ordinance also creates a designated protest area open 24 hours a day during the Aug. 27-30 convention, with no permits necessary, according to the Times. It also establishes an official parade route.

Read more about Thursday's council decision in the Times' article.

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