Grassley says guns OK on Republican convention floor4/6/2016
U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, tells Political Mercury he’s leading efforts on a bill that would allow
delegates to carry firearms into the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, in July.
Ohio is an open-carry state, but Quicken Loans Arena, the convention venue, prohibits firearms.
Asked if attendees should be able to take guns into the convention, Grassley said, “I do co-sponsor a bill that maybe answers your question.”
Grassley, speaking with this newspaper, said the legislation creates reciprocity between states on certain firearms laws, meaning if you can legally carry in one state, that right transfers to all others.
So should Iowans with carry permits be allowed to have guns on the Cleveland convention grounds?
“I think under our legislation you’d have to be able to do that,” Grassley said.
The Secret Service, invoking federal law that allows it to override state open-carry provisions, is on record as saying guns will not be allowed in the convention.
On President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland, an appeals court judge from Washington, D.C., to the U.S. Supreme Court, Grassley said the outcome is a foregone conclusion, making it a waste of time to hold hearings. Garland won’t be confirmed, Grassley said.
Asked if it is also a waste of Senate time and resources to draft and debate legislation to kill Obamacare or restrict abortion — both foregone conclusions as non-starters, but measures he’s advocated — Grassley said such a comparison is a false equivalent.
“I guess the only thing I can say in regard to that is that these other issues can come up any time, and you’re talking about a vacancy on the Supreme Court with people that have spoke specifically to that issue,” Grassley said. “I believe anything that’s legislative can come up any time. They may not come up because there’s not enough support for them to come up.”
A primary line of logic in the Republican opposition to Garland’s nomination is the timing of it, coming in the final year of Obama’s presidency. That considered, Obama continues to make life-and-death calls from the White House regularly, such as drone strikes and troop deployments. Should he stop doing that in his final year as well?
In response to that question, Grassley said his decision as Senate Judiciary chairman to deny Garland a hearing is based on statements of 30 years of comments on judicial appointments from senators.
“This isn’t just something Republicans thought up here at the last minute,” Grassley said.
Grassley said the president has the authority to make the Supreme Court appointment.
“I’m not telling the president what he can do or not do,” Grassley said. “It’d be easier for me if he didn’t exercise it. But if he wants to exercise it, it is perfectly legitimate and constitutional for him to exercise it. But it’s also an entirely separate thing for the Congress of the United States, the Senate, to do what we have to do.” CV
Douglas Burns is a fourth-generation Iowa newspaperman who resides in Carroll. He and his family own and publish newspapers in Carroll, Jefferson and other neighboring communities.