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Asked to suspend Ohio's 'open carry' law, Kasich says he can't

The head of the Cleveland police patrolmen’s union Sunday asked Ohio Gov. John Kasich to suspend the state law that allows anyone to carry a firearm in public, in the wake of the shooting death of three police officers in Baton Rouge, La.

WJW-TV reported Sunday that union president Steve Loomis is drafting a request to the governor to suspend the state’s “open carry” law for the duration of the convention.

“I don’t care what the legal precedent is, I feel strongly that leadership needs to stand up and defend these police officers,” Loomis told the Reuters news service.

Kasich’s spokeswoman, Emmalee Kalmbach, said the governor does not have the authority to do what Loomis requested.

“Ohio governors do not have the power to arbitrarily suspend federal and state constitutional rights or state laws as suggested.”

Cleveland police, as might be expected at a national political convention, are almost everywhere as 50,000 visitors descend upon this Lake Erie city. But one of their most impressive maneuvers involves convoys of about two dozen bicycling officers moving throughout downtown, able to quickly respond en masse to any incident.

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