There was a flurry of news stories this week over the fact that guns would not be permitted in the hall when President Trump and Vice President Pence appear at the National Rifle Association conference in Dallas today. Several students and parents involved in the Parkland, Florida school shooting charged the NRA with hypocrisy pointing to the NRA stand that more people should be armed, including in schools, to stop potential shooters but guns were prohibited at the convention to assure safety for the president and vice-president.

But the Secret Service is in charge of presidential visits and the NRA has no say about how they conduct the protection of the president and vice-president. In such situations, even some police have to yield their weapons, as I saw up close.

Let me take you back to June1992. President George H. W. Bush attended a Los Angeles meeting sponsored by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. I was the president of the group at the time. Prior to the event we had a number of meetings with advance teams from the Secret Service to discuss security measures and other details of the visit.

An audience of just under 1,000 people were expected to fill the hotel ballroom and the Secret Service agents made it clear that while they were in charge of protecting the president it was not their responsibility to control any protests or outbursts that might occur in the hall.

To deal with any potential disruptors at the event we hired off-duty LAPD officers to provide added security. However, when the cops showed up to fulfill their duties the Secret Service would not let them inside the hall if they were packing guns. They were sworn LAPD officers but the Secret Service would not allow them into the hall in which the president was to speak with their guns.

There followed some tense negotiations accompanied by stubborn objections from the cops but in the end the Secret Service prevailed. The police officers had to leave their weapons in their cars when they performed their protection duties.