Concealed Weapons—or Knitting Needles—Won’t Be Allowed at Convention

By: - August 25, 2008 12:00 am

DENVER The police who protect the U.S. Mint in downtown Denver were a bit surprised when stumbled on a training exercise involving officers in riot gear outside the building’s gates. Nervous officers escorted two reporters around the exercise and encouraged them to keep walking.  

Even the Mint is protecting Denver from the possibility of lawlessness by protestors. Their guards are part of an elaborate security effort planned for months by state and federal officials.

The Colorado Legislature approved a law this year allowing out-of-state officers to back up officers in Colorado cities. Nearby Aurora sent 300 officers, part of an additional 900 additional officers dispatched to the downtown area.

The National Guard has 2,900 personnel helping secure buildings and ready to respond to a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attack. At least six federal agencies are involved in the security efforts, joining Denver police.

Colorado may be one of the states that allow a person to carry a concealed weapon, but guns, knives and other weapons are banned from the Pepsi Center and Invesco Field where the convention will take place.

Just to be clear, the Demcratic National Committee issued this list of prohibited items: weapons, plastic replica of weapons, any size knife, explosives, fireworks, umbrellas, poles and sticks, laser lights and laser pointers, coolers, glass bottles, cans, spray containers, aerosols, mace/pepper spray, tripods for cameras (except news media), sharp and/or pointed objects, scissors, knitting needles, leatherman tools, voice enhancement devices such as bullhorns, noisemakers such as air horns, whistles and drums, banners, signs, placards, flashlights and unopened envelopes or packages.

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Stephen Fehr

Stephen Fehr is a senior officer with Pew’s government performance portfolio. He is a lead writer on many of the products generated by the portfolio, specializing in state and local fiscal health.