Passage of Ohio's CCW Law reform was past due

The following commentary was recently published in the Wilmington News Journal.

By Tim Inwood

Back in September I wrote a guest editorial about
the Sixth District Court ruling in the Bruce Beatty
case. The ruling concerned the city of Toledo
prosecuting Bruce Beatty for carrying a firearm in a
municipal
park. Toledo had prohibited carrying handguns in parks
despite the fact the State Attorney General, Jim
Petro, said it was perfectly legal to carry a handgun
in a park under Ohio law.

At the time I said it was
clear the ruling barring carrying in the parks would
not stand. As I predicted the ban has been stuck down
by the State legislature passing HB 347 which has
given us state wide preemption, among other things.
Sadly the ruling against Bruce Beatty still stands as
that is how the Court interpreted the law at the time.
The same will be true for Mr. Baskin in the recent
ruling from the State Supreme Court in Cincinnati vs.
Baskin. That case involved Cincinnati's "assault
weapons" ban, that went well beyond assault weapons.

Because of the frequent abuse of Ohio’s concealed
carry law by several cities, a move to reform the law
began. An excellent example that you all may well
recall was the many months that I did battle with
Mayor Dave Raizk of Wilmington for violating the
spirit of Ohio’s concealed carry law. His offense was
posting the Denver Williams Park and the Clinton
County Fairgrounds. It was only after Attorney General
Petro issued a written opinion on the subject that the
Mayor relented and obeyed the law by removing the
signs.

Click on 'Read More' for the entire commentary.

The bill known as HB347 passed in the House
this summer.The Ohio Senate passed it on November
29th. Governor Taft, who had been mum on the
provisions in the bill, suddenly announced he was
going to veto the bill in December.
He did that on December 7th. He was promptly rebuked
with a veto override vote in the House that same
afternoon. Of the 60 votes needed they got 71. On
December 12th the State Senate over rode the veto with
21 votes. This was historic as an Ohio Governor’s veto
had not been struck down since the mid 1970s.

HB 347
will become law in March, making Ohio's gun laws
uniform statewide.
This is only logical. It is silly for the law to
say that I can own a Colt AR-15 or Glock 17 in
Wilmington, but the moment I drive through Cincinnati,
Dayton, Cleveland or Columbus, with either of those
guns in my trunk, I am suddenly breaking the law. This
patch work of laws was untenable and a “Catch -22” for
the poor citizen unaware of these draconian local
ordinances.

Along with preemption the silly and unsafe provision
requiring open carry in your car will end. Ohio was
the only state with a “Shall Issue” concealed carry
law requiring this. Because of this provision people
had to carry two holsters, one for open carry and one
for concealed carry. It also forced one to do
unnecessary gun handling in their vehicle when you got
to your destination. It was in a word “ridiculous.”
Starting in mid March you may carry your gun on your
person concealed in your vehicle. If you are stopped
by law enforcement for any reason you must promptly
let them know you are a concealed carry license holder
and whether you are armed or not. This has always been
the law, however now the penalty is more severe for
not telling them immediately. This provision has not
really been a problem in Ohio. The revelation of the
fact the driver is carrying a firearm is somewhat
softened by the “LEADS” check on the vehicle license
plate telling the officer the vehicle belongs to a CCW
license holder. In other words the officer should
already know you are a license holder. So always
comply and let them know if you have your handgun.

As
of December the state of Ohio has issued 82,728
concealed carry licenses since the law was enacted in
2004. The predicted gun fights in the streets, road
rage shootings and other silly hysteria promoted by
the anti gun movement has not happened anywhere. So
much for Toby Hoover’s talent as a soothsayer.She
might as well give up her crystal ball. Many citizens
have legally used their guns to protect themselves and
the law restoring our right to self defense has saved
lives. Passage of 347 our new law, will improve
Ohio’s gun laws and restore the abused rights of law
abiding citizens in this state. It was insulting that
politicians did not trust the law abiding citizens
with the firearm of their choice. All in all final
passage of this law is a very good thing that was way
past due.

If you are interested in
learning more details on the new law I urge you to
visit http://www.buckeyefirearms.org where it is broken
down in more detail and can be downloaded.

Tim Inwood is the current Legislative Liaison and Past President of the Clinton County Farmers and Sportsmen Association, and a volunteer for Buckeye Firearms Association.br>

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