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Grand Wayne to be gun-friendly for GOP convention

INDIANAPOLIS – The Grand Wayne Center will be gun-friendly during the Indiana Republican Party’s annual convention June 6 and 7 after all.

The center has clarified its gun management policies, saying it must abide by a 2011 law preventing political subdivisions from regulating firearms.

The Allen County Capital Improvement Board of Managers oversees the Grand Wayne.

Several sources told The Journal Gazette Monday that the Grand Wayne, as well as Embassy Theatre and Parkview Field, were gun-free.

But Bart Shaw – executive director for Grand Wayne – said Wednesday there have been clarifications regarding the 2011 law.

“I know in the past here there was a no-gun policy, so maybe there was some confusion,” he said. “I’ve been on the job for a year and this is the first time the gun question has come up.”

The law does allow those renting or leasing the space to ban guns, as has happened when the Grand Wayne has hosted proms, Shaw said. But the center also has hosted law enforcement conventions where guns were welcome.

“There are no signs or metal detectors,” he said.

The state party will allow guns.

Hundreds of Republicans are expected in Fort Wayne for the GOP State Convention – the first time the party has scheduled its annual meeting outside of Indianapolis.

Organizers have gone out of the way to attract national speakers to Grand Wayne, and are hosting Fort Fun Night at Parkview Field as well as a Kenny Loggins concert at Embassy Theatre.

The Embassy and Parkview Field, which are run privately, will remain gun-free.

Delegates will choose nominees for state auditor, secretary of state and treasurer at the convention.