The Latest: Some Trump backers bring guns to first big rally

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Latest on demonstrations and gatherings outside the Republican National Convention in Cleveland (all times local):

11:25 a.m.

More than 100 Donald Trump supporters are starting to show up for the first major pro-Trump rally during this week’s Republican National Convention.

About a dozen are legally carrying guns near downtown Cleveland, but there’s no obvious sign of a police presence.

There’s been much discussion about open carry as the convention gets underway Monday.

The president of Cleveland’s police union had asked Ohio Gov. John Kasich to suspend the law allowing legal gun owners to carry firearms openly. But Kasich says he doesn’t have that authority.

A Pennsylvania man who’s attending the Trump rally with a Smith and Wesson handgun strapped to his belt says he and the others carrying guns are not there to intimidate anyone. He says it’s more about exercising their rights.


11:15 a.m.

The Cleveland police chief says that security planners considered whether a ban on the open carry of firearms could be enforced during this week’s Republican National Convention but learned that police had no authority to override state law.

The issue surrounding open carry has become a concern in Cleveland after the fatal shootings of police in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in recent days.

The president of one of Cleveland’s police unions asked Ohio Gov. John Kasich to suspend the law that allows legal gun owners to carry firearms openly. Kasich countered that he doesn’t have the authority to do so.

Several people showed up on Cleveland’s Public Square on Sunday carrying firearms. About a dozen people had guns before the start of a Monday rally.

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said Monday that police officers are being told to be especially cautious.


9:10 a.m.

Left-leaning activist groups pushing for “economic justice” and an “America First Unity March” sponsored by Citizens for Trump will hit the streets of Cleveland.

Two groups are scheduled to hold rallies and marches Monday, the official start of the four-day Republican National Convention.

There are concerns about violent protests during the RNC between supporters and foes of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Cleveland police reported one arrest Sunday after a man tried to grab a police officer’s gas mask.

Monday also happens to be the 50th anniversary of the beginning of Cleveland’s Hough riots. The riots that began July 18, 1966, were sparked by a confrontation between black residents and a white bar owner and led to nearly a week of looting and violence in one of the city’s east side neighborhoods.

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