GOP front-runner Donald Trump said Sunday he wants more time to study a Change.org petition calling on the Republican National Committee to allow delegates attending the Republican convention this summer in Cleveland to bring guns with them if they want, while insisting he is a "very, very strong person for the Second Amendment."
But as it turns out, the petition itself
, which has already been signed by just over 42,000 people, may have started as a bit of satire that's caught fire among gun rights supporters, according to CNET
The tech site reports a blog called Hyperationalist
has claimed responsibility for the petition, and the blog's writer declared on March 24 that "the dedicated staff of the Hyperationalist" launched the petition, and as signatures pile up, "clearly we have struck a nerve."
The blog has no other entries.
Further, the Akron Beacon Journal
notes the group, Americans for Responsible Open Carry, which was named as the petition's official sponsor, doesn't appear anywhere else online and accepts online messages only from networked supporters.
Trump on Sunday told ABC's Jonathan Karl on the network's "This Week"
program he wanted to read the petition's "fine print," and until that happened, he wasn't going to comment.
"I'm a very, very strong person for the Second Amendment," Trump told Karl. "I think very few people are stronger. I have to see the petition. I'm not going to comment to you when I haven't seen it."
And even when Karl urged Trump to "forget the petition" and comment on delegates being allowed to have guns, Trump refused. His fellow candidates, John Kasich and Ted Cruz likewise have not commented.
"I don't want to forget the petition, because you're talking about a petition," Trump told Karl. "I will take a look at it. It's the first I hear about it — of it, and frankly, nobody is stronger on the Second Amendment than me."
The petition calls on guns to be permitted inside Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena, which is a designated gun-free zone, and says that delegates at the event risk being "sitting ducks, utterly helpless against evil-doers, criminals or others who wish to threaten the American way of life," unless they can bring in weapons.
Ohio is an open-carry state, the petition says, but the Quicken Loans Arena's rules forbid firearms, a policy that is a "direct affront to the Second Amendment and puts all attendees at risk. As the National Rifle Association has made clear, 'gun-free zones' such as the Quicken Loans Arena are 'the worst and most dangerous of all lies.'''
The petition notes Trump, Kasich, and Cruz have all spoken out against gun-free zones, and calls on Kasich, as the governor of Ohio, to override the arena's rules.
It further demands that Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus be called to task for selecting a venue "so unfriendly to Second Amendment rights" for the convention.
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