Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board to skip public hearing on Statehouse gun rules

by Chad D. Baus

Gongwer News Service reported recently that the agency that oversees Capitol Square moved Monday to avoid a public hearing on gun regulations.

On October 20, the unelected CSRAB voted to prohibit concealed guns on the property surrounding the Statehouse.

From coverage at the time from The Columbus Dispatch:

"The thought was that the board wants to be proactive as we continue to have more events outside," said Gregg Dodd, the board's deputy director.

"The board's intent is to make the Statehouse the people's house, inclusive and acceptable to everybody, and we just want to assure that all families that are visiting and the Downtown work force that it continues to be a safe gathering place."

Dodd did not explain how the board believes a policy banning people who are legally exercising a constitutional and statutorial right is more "inclusive," or why they believe ensuring that only criminals will have guns on the Statehouse grounds is more "safe."

According to The Dispatch, much of the impetus for the change stemmed from the Ohio Second Amendment Rally which was held last year in conjunction with a rally that occurred a week later in Washington, D.C. The article says the board wanted to bar attendees at the Second Amendment March from "packing heat," but was told by the attorney general's office that no policy existed for a ban.

From Gongwer News Service's coverage of the decision to skip a public hearing:

The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board withdrew rules on carrying concealed weapons in and around the Statehouse from consideration by the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review.

CSRAB spokesman Greg Dodd said the agency plans to file the rules under the "111 section" of the law, which doesn't require public hearings prior to JCARR consideration.

The proposal was accidentally filed under the "119 section" that mandates public hearings, he said. A few years ago CSRAB was authorized to file rules without holding a public hearing.

The article notes that although CSRAB won't have to hold a hearing on the rules, they will still be subject to public comment during a future JCARR hearing.

JCARR is chaired by state representative Ross McGregor (R-72). The entire list of JCARR members and their contact information can be found here.

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.

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