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Ohio Gun Owners Win Another Round

Discussion in 'Legal' started by 308win, Sep 19, 2008.

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  1. 308win

    308win Member

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    Local government bans on carry in parks and bans on certain types of firearms stuck down.

    City gun ban trumped



    State concealed-carry law takes priority, Ohio Supreme Court rules


    By James Nash
    THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH




    The state law giving Ohioans the right to carry concealed weapons, even in parks, overrules a city’s ability to regulate firearms, the state Supreme Court said yesterday in a ruling that wipes out local gun ordinances.
    The court’s 4-3 decision struck down a Sandusky County city’s ban on firearms in municipal parks, but it also is expected to invalidate assault-weapons restrictions in other cities, including Columbus and Cleveland.
    The majority of justices said lawmakers were within their rights in 2004 when they stripped away dozens of local gun ordinances — including the assaultweapons bans in Ohio’s largest cities, a registration requirement in Cleveland Heights, a waiting period for purchases in Dublin and a trigger-lock requirement Akron — in favor of a statewide standard.
    As the state law drew multiple challenges, lawmakers passed another measure in 2006 reaffirming their intention to have a uniform statewide policy on firearms. Then-Gov. Bob Taft vetoed the law, but the legislature overrode him.
    The court decision was a victory for Ohioans for Concealed Carry, which had challenged the city of Clyde’s ban on firearms in its five parks as running afoul of the 2004 state law.
    “This has basically vindicated the legislature’s efforts and ours, which were to make gun laws consistent statewide,” said Jeff Garvas, president of the grass-roots group. “There’s no way a city can pass a local gun law, which is an exercise of police powers, and not skirt this decision. It’s not just parks.”
    Leaders in many cities had argued that they needed tougher gun restrictions to deal with factors specific to urban living, such as high population density and gang violence.
    They also said Ohio’s homerule tradition gives local leaders broad authority to protect the well-being of their constituents.
    Like Cleveland, Dayton and Toledo, Columbus passed an assault-weapons ban but has not been enforcing it, pending the outcome of the Supreme Court case.
    “This puts a pretty good crimp on what the city can do on the regulation of firearms,” said Columbus City Attorney Richard C. Pfeiffer Jr., a former state lawmaker. “We believe in home rule, but four votes (on the Supreme Court) win every time.”
    He said prospects for Columbus upholding its assaultweapons ban appear “pretty dim.”
    Unlike Columbus, Cleveland has filed legal challenges to the statewide gun law. City officials there did not respond to questions about whether they plan to drop those challenges.
    The Clyde case split the all-Republican Supreme Court nearly down the middle. The majority of justices said local gun regulation crosses the line from self-government into the area of police power, where statewide regulations trump local ones.
    Justice Terrence O’Donnell, who wrote the ruling, noted that the state’s concealed-carry law did not declare parks gunfree zones.
    “Thus, the statute permits a licensed gun owner to carry a concealed handgun in a Clyde city park — indeed, in any municipal park across the state — the very conduct prohibited by the Clyde city ordinance,” O’Donnell wrote.
    He was joined by Justices Maureen O’Connor and Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, who are up for re-election in November, and Justice Robert R. Cupp.
    Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer and Justices Judith Ann Lanzinger and Paul E. Pfeifer dissented.
    Moyer noted that the state law allows private-property owners to prohibit concealed firearms.
    “The different treatment of public and private property is patently arbitrary and unreasonable; it affects one class of land solely on the basis of ownership, which has little to do with the relative safety of allowing concealed handguns on a particular type of property,” he wrote.
    Rep. James Aslanides, RCoshocton, the sponsor of the concealed-carry law, said a statewide standard is necessary because gun owners can’t be expected to navigate a hodgepodge of local regulations as they travel from city to city. He also said there’s good reason to allow guns in parks.
    “Parks are places where people particularly need to be able to defend themselves, because we don’t want users of a park to be victims,” Aslanides said. “As long as the criminal knows that potentially someone could have a gun in a park to defend themselves, the intent is to deter that crime. As a result, we’ll all be safer in parks.”
    Although he supports the concealed-carry law, Rep. Dan Stewart, D-Columbus, said cities should be able to address gun issues that are specific to them.
    “With crime, it’s a different kind of situation in a city like Columbus, where we have a lot of shootings,” Stewart said.
    The Ohio Supreme Court ruling is the second highprofile court victory in three months for gun-owners in the state. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a handgun ban in the District of Columbia, declaring that gun ownership is a fundamental American right under the Second Amendment.
     
  2. Kentak

    Kentak Member

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    Yes, good news, indeed. It bothers me that even an all-Republican SC split so closely, 4-3, but at least for now a win is a win.

    K
     
  3. FieroCDSP

    FieroCDSP Member

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    Ohio's towns and cities take the home-rule seriously. In many ways that keeps a lot of small-town Ohio as such, the way they like it. It does hinder a lot of other things, though. My personal feelings is for state-wide gun laws. It was just too easy before to get nailed for possession of a weapon in one place that is perfectly legal not five miles away.
     
  4. 308win

    308win Member

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    Home rule has its place - but just like anything else, self-serving interests will find a way to abuse a good thing.
     
  5. rtroha

    rtroha Member

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  6. Duke Junior

    Duke Junior member

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    Fine news.Very close decision ,but a win is a win.
    Congratulations,Buckeyes.
     
  7. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

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    I am very much in favor of government being "as local as possible." But rights are rights and even a local community cannot abrogate protected rights. That is the whole point of a constitutional republic.

    Good result. Bad that it was so close. Does anyone have a link to the actual case decision?

    Never mind. Here it is:
     

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  8. vis-à-vis

    vis-à-vis Member

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    I went back to NE Ohio to visit my family last month. First time I've been back since CCW was allowed. I couldn't carry ANYWHERE except the public street. Every business has those damn No Guns Allowed signs.

    Glad to see this decision though.
     
  9. 308win

    308win Member

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    The only places I have noticed them in central Ohio is: all government offices; TGIFridays; most attorney's offices. Only occasionally do I see them on retail establishments - HL Arts Jewelers in Newark comes to mind.
     
  10. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    Likewise the west side of Cleveland. More places don't have them than do. That I recall, none of the grocery stores in Rocky River do. Neither do the banks. All liquor by the drink establishments are statutorily off-limits.
     
  11. rtroha

    rtroha Member

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    I'd be curious to know where that is. Even in the eastern suburbs of Cleveland, which is one of the most liberal places in Ohio, I don't see that many signs.
     
  12. vis-à-vis

    vis-à-vis Member

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    Elyria, Ohio

    Take a stroll downtown.
     
  13. d906670

    d906670 Member

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    Are you sure it was not the no smoking signs? Alot of people mistake them for no guns signs.
     
  14. foghornl

    foghornl Member

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    Fifth Third Bank (Yes, that is the actual name...Fifth Third Bank) was the first bank chain to post the infamous No Guns Allowed signs in ALL of its Ohio brnaches.

    One guess which is the most robbed bank chain in Ohio......

    That's right Boys-N-Girls....it IS Fifth Third Bank.
     
  15. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    when I was in canton a few years back, i swear every place we went by had the no gun signs up. but it was shortly after the cc law was passed and it was new. My guess is that some activists (maybe the PD even) went around and told the business owners they had to post and the business owners didn't know any better. I bet most have come down.
     
  16. rtroha

    rtroha Member

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    I live in Cuyahoga County which is quite possibly the most liberal county in Ohio. Yet I think 95% of the businesses don't post.

    Most of the major banks chains like National City and Key Bank don't post. Most of the grocery chains like Giant Eagle and Heinens don't post. None of the drug store chains like CVS, Walgreens or RiteAid post.

    There are a few well known chains like Fifth Third and United Dairy Farmer that post but they are definitely outnumbered.
     
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