No guns allowed at Republican convention: US Secret Service

A US Secret Service agent stands watch at the Tucson Convention Center before a campaign event for Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, on March 19, 2016.
A US Secret Service agent stands watch at the Tucson Convention Center before a campaign event for Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, on March 19, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - No guns will be allowed into the Republican National Convention, the Secret Service said on Monday (March 28), refusing to bow to pressure after nearly 50,000 people signed a petition urging a no-firearms policy be overturned.

Firearms will not be allowed inside the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, where the event - which could descend into a heated battle for the party presidential ticket - is taking place in July.

A petition calling for guns to be allowed into the venue - saying it would save lives in the event of an attack - has attracted more than 47,900 signatures in just a few days at the Change.org website.

But Robert Hoback, Secret Service spokesman, said in a statement that the only armed people at the convention will be his agents.

"Only authorised law enforcement personnel working in conjunction with the Secret Service for a particular event may carry a firearm inside of the protected site," he said in a statement.

"The Secret Service works closely with our local law enforcement partners in each state to ensure a safe environment for our protectees and the public.

"Individuals determined to be carrying firearms will not be allowed past a predetermined outer perimeter checkpoint, regardless of whether they possess a ticket to the event."

Firearms were banned by the Secret Service at the Republican convention in Tampa in 2012, US media say.