US Republicans close ranks around Trump | News | DW | 19.07.2016
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US Republicans close ranks around Trump

The real estate mogul-turned-presidential hopeful has tried to put the party convention back on track following a rank-and-file revolt. Outside the venue, jitters continue over lax gun laws allowing open carry.

Trump broke with tradition on Monday by appearing at the convention before his nomination, following a failed attempt by floor delegates to force a re-vote to overturn his nomination.

Many are furious that the party of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt will be led by a man who described most Mexicans as rapists and advocated barring Muslims from entering the US.

"We're going to win so big" he told convention delegates to thunderous cheers.

An anti-Trump faction had tried to force a state-by-state roll call vote which could lead to denying Trump an automatic nomination. But despite what initially appeared to be a successful attempt to force a full vote, Republican leaders proceeded with a quick voice vote and Trump's team declared the "dump Trump" movement vanquished.

In a sign of lingering party divisions, senior party figures are staying away from Cleveland, including the entire Bush clan, 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and even host state Ohio's sitting governor, John Kasich, who was visiting Cleveland but not the convention grounds.

Open carry of firearms worry police

USA Schüsse auf Polizisten in Baton Rouge

Recent deadly targeting of police officers by lone snipers in Texas and Louisiana has law enforcement worried about violence at the party convention in Cleveland.

Security in the city of Cleveland has been extremely tight with a federal grant of nearly $50 million (45 million euros) ensuring city police have the latest military-grade hardware to combat threats from violent protests – or worse.

As added precautions tents, ladders, coolers, canned goods, tennis balls and bicycle locks are banned in the area surrounding the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

But firearms are fine.

Despite protests from police unions to suspend Ohio's lax open carry laws allowing citizens to wield military-grade firearms, Ohio Governor John Kasich has rejected the request pointing out he lacked the authority to overturn law by diktat.

Open carry activists say they won't give up their right to bear arms, which they say is enshrined in the US Constitution.

"We're sympathetic to law enforcement being concerned about their safety, but that doesn't mean we give up citizens' rights just to make it easier to police large events," John Pierce, co-founder of national advocacy group OpenCarry.org, told the Reuters news agency.

Even so, things have been orderly so far. Hundreds of Trump supporters and opponents held rallies a half-mile apart, with few of the Trump supporters openly carrying guns since it is their apparent legal right in the state of Ohio.

jar/kms (AP, Reuters, AFP)

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