BUCKEYE FIREARMS: Stay up-to-date on gun laws, politics, and events. Plus get the Grassroots Action Guide FREE!
It is clear from reading media fallout from the ruling - all eyes are now intensely focused on Sen. Pres. Doug White and his continued obstruction of Am. Sub. HB12.
Akron Beacon Journal:
Drive to lift state gun ban returns to legislature
House Speaker Larry Householder, R-Glenford, said in a statement Wednesday that he wants the Senate to join the House to work out differences. Senate President Doug White, R-Manchester, said Householder should work out his differences with Taft, also a Republican.
"Plaintiffs consider appeal to federal court"
Tim Smith, the lawyer who represented the four plaintiffs, said the affirmative defense clause raises constitutional issues that might help get the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. He said he will decide within the next three months whether to launch a federal appeal.
Wednesday's ruling by the Ohio Supreme Court on carrying concealed weapons upholds a bad law that should be rewritten by the General Assembly. We hope the ruling will crack the legislative obstinacy.
"Leaders can't agree on gun law "
Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen, a former police officer and judge, on Wednesday called the ruling "a technical victory for us, I guess," but insisted state lawmakers can make the debate over carrying concealed weapons go away by changing the law.
"What I support personally is a concealed carry bill that provides for periodic qualifying -- like police officers have to do -- and background checks," Allen said.
Cleveland Plain Dealer:
"Justices uphold concealed gun ban"
Although the 5-2 ruling was a defeat for the gun lobby, both sides of the fractious issue believe it could breathe new life into the legislature's stalled debate over allowing law-abiding citizens to carry concealed handguns.
Ohio foes of gun law to pressure legislature
Proposals in the legislature to allow concealed-carry have stalled, with some lawmakers and police agencies arguing that allowing hidden weapons could put the public and police officers at risk. [Forty-five]other states allow people to carry hidden weapons , mostly with restrictions. Vermont [and Alaska do] not require a license or permit.
Cincinnati hairdresser Vernon Ferrier, who joined [three other individuals] as a plaintiff in the lawsuit, is planning to walk with friends and supporters Sunday afternoon in his neighborhood while wearing unconcealed firearms.
Others may show up for and against the cause, and the crowd could number in the hundreds, Ferrier said yesterday.
He said his protest is intended to demonstrate that while carrying unconcealed weapons is permitted, it could put wearers at risk of arrest for inducing panic or of attack by people who might try to take the guns.
"I had eight guys try and take my gun away from me one night, because I was carrying it openly. They were unsuccessful in their attempt," Ferrier said.
"Justices uphold ban on concealed guns" (subscription site - paid access only)
In a ruling sure to put new emphasis on the legislative battle over guns, the Ohio Supreme Court yesterday upheld the state’s 83-year-old ban on carrying concealed weapons.
Senate President Doug White said, "It’s up to the House and the governor." The Manchester Republican has yet to appoint Senate members to a conference committee that is supposed to be negotiating differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. The Senate passed its on June 18.
House Speaker Larry Householder had a different view.
"The Ohio House has twice passed a balanced plan to give law-abiding citizens the ability to protect themselves and their families, just like the citizens of virtually every state in the nation have," the Glenford Republican said in a prepared statement. "We think it’s time for the Senate to come to the table in conference committee on House Bill 12 and work with us to resolve this issue."
Chad Baus, a spokesman for Ohioans for Concealed Carry, based in suburban Cleveland, was even more forceful.
"I believe the court decision focuses all attention on Senate President Doug White to stop obstructing passage of this bill.
"The court correctly recognized that we have a self-defense right. They say the remedy is to carry weapons openly. What would they rather see — people walking around carrying openly, like the old Wild West, or a more subtle defense by carrying weapons where no one can see them?"
Meanwhile, gun owners plan to display their weapons openly Saturday as they walk through a north Cincinnati neighborhood.
"It’s more relevant now than it was before," said Vernon Ferrier, 62, a suburban Cincinnati hairdresser and a plaintiff in the lawsuit. "There’ll be more people participating. It could be hundreds."
The gun walk originally was organized to persuade the Supreme Court to issue a ruling, but now the emphasis is on House Bill 12.
Dayton Daily News:
Court upholds ban on concealed guns
Lancaster Eagle Gazette:
Gun owners, law enforcement express opinion on court ruling
"The gun is as much of the American culture as the bagpipe is with Scotland," Thomason said. "It's a major deterrent to crime, to sexual offenses, to assault. It's my whole-hearted belief it makes Ohio a better, safer place."
Lorain Morning Journal:
Editorial: Ohio's Supreme Court rules for common sense, against concealed guns
Plaintiffs won't support Senate concealed-carry bill
The leaders of the state Senate and House said later they had not changed their positions on the issue. The Senate-passed bill, which would prohibit motorists from concealing weapons on their person in cars and is supported by Gov. Bob Taft, is unacceptable to the House in its present version.
New Philadelphia Times Reporter:
Weapons initiative misfires -- Tug-of-war erupts in Ohio Legislature
Lawmakers from Stark and Tuscarawas counties say it’s time to get House Bill 12 signed into law. The holdup is Senate President Doug White, R-Manchester, who Wednesday continued to refuse to assign members of the Senate to a conference committee to work out differences between House and Senate versions of the conceal carry legislation.
Bill M. Gustavson, a Cincinnati attorney representing the Second Amendment Foundation, of Bellevue, Wash., said since the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that the legislature can restrict gun use, the legislature also can loosen regulations.
"Other states have done this without incident. There’s no blood in the streets. There aren’t soccer moms shooting each other over parking spaces at the soccer game. The criminals and miscreants are carrying guns. This is about decent, law-abiding taxpayers who would like to carry a firearm for their defense and security," Mr. Gustavson said.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 24, 2003
Group says majority opinion reads like “Jim Crow”
Self-defense Advocates Plan “Visual Display” of Supreme Court Ruling Sunday
CLEVELAND - The Ohio Supreme Court’s split-decision to overturn rulings from two lower courts, which unanimously agreed that Ohio’s ban on carrying a concealed firearm is unconstitutional, highlights the necessity for legislative action.
OFCC, Ohio’s largest grassroots organization focused solely on restoring Ohioans’ right to bear arms for self-defense joined the lawsuit on behalf of its statewide membership.
The law in question subjects law-abiding citizens carrying a firearm for self-defense to arrest, prosecution and the burden of proving their innocence in court, rather than the burden being placed on the State. As Justice O'Connor pointed out in her dissent, current law "is as offensive as a statute allowing the arrest of anyone who speaks in public, but permitting the speaker to prove at trial that the speech was constitutionally protected.”
11:30 a.m. Statement from Ohioans For Concealed Carry:
We are disappointed that the Ohio Supreme Court has failed on this issue and abridged this fundamental right of Ohioans for a third time in this state's history.
The court has contradicted itself by saying that citizens may exercise this fundamental right by carrying openly without concerns for public safety, but that wearing a concealed firearm is somehow unsafe to society as a whole and must be regulated by our legislature.
There is no logic in the majority's ruling.
As dissenting Justice Maureen O'Connor pointed out, the law today "is as offensive as a statute allowing the arrest of anyone who speaks in public, but permitting the speaker to prove at trial that the speech was constitutionally protected".
It is incumbent upon Ohio Senate President Doug White to stop his
obstruction of House Bill 12, appoint conferees, and send a bill to Gov. Taft's desk.
Ohioans For Concealed Carry was a co-plaintiff in this lawsuit, and is Ohio's largest grassroots organization focused solely on restoring Ohioans' right to bear arms for self-defense. A more detailed response will be issued after we have had time to study the entire ruling.
In February, Ohio State Highway Patrol Superintendant Paul McClellan published a letter opposing concealed carry legislation on it's face.
In it, he made some outrageous and easily disprovable statements, such as "There is no statistical or anecdotal evidence which supports that concealment and transportation of a weapon in a motor vehicle is effective or safe as a defensive or deterrent measure" and "In fact, no legitimate organization has made empirically-based claims of cause and effect between lower crime rates and concealed weapon legislation." Perhaps it is this statement that has had the most serious of consequences:
"Because the fundamental nature of motor vehicles allows those who feel threatened to simply drive away, the argument that motorists need loaded concealed weapons is weak."
There are plenty more where that came from - click here to read the entire archived letter, with Commentary.
McClellan didn't stop at putting this letter on his website - he submitted it, false statements and all - to Senate President Doug White's office on March 5. OFCC quickly responded by providing the evidence that McClellan can't seem to find to Pres. White's office (we also provided a host of empirical studies from academics at major universities nationwide, and which McClellan claims in his letter are all from illegitimate sources.
The bureaucrat was undeterred - he began emailing the letter to everyone who contacted his office about his poorly crafted, deceptive position statement - and he continued to do for 8 months.
McClellan has obviously been hearing from the taxpayers who write his checks in recent days and weeks (1-877-7-PATROL), because after 8 months of trying to force-feed his false statements to legislators and the public, he has removed his letter from the website, and replaced it with a new one.
In recent weeks, we have covered the story of an Ohio Law Enforcement Summit Meeting, which will be held tomorrow, Sept. 25. The Buckete State Sheriffs Association has called McClellan and the OSHP to the table, to inform him that the language he endorses - the language he claims improves officer safety - is entirely UNSAFE. The Ohio Fraternal Order of Police agree with the Sheriffs, and have also agreed to attend the meeting.
Could this new letter be a bitter warning that McClellan will not listen to the reasoning of Ohio's two largest law enforcement organizations warnings? Could a small Ohio police force, which focuses primarily on traffic violations, and has jurisdiction only on Ohio's state highways, continue to be allowed to "write" legislation, by a Republican Senator unwilling to allow his collegues to vote their concience in a potential veto-override session? Or by a waffling Governor who claimed to have been willing to support a bill that had broad law enforcement support?
In his original letter, McClellan said "New legislation normally addresses a problem, either existing or potential. Fortunately, in part due to the efforts of Ohio's law enforcement officers, Ohio has not experienced an epidemic which would dictate loading our vehicles with concealed guns."
Tell that to Mr. Tony Gordon 's family, Spt. McClellan. Tony Gordon died trying to follow the OSHP's advice on what to do when attacked in one's car. Tell it to his two-year old daughter, or his 13 year old nephew, who was an occupant in the vehicle Tony was in when he tried to "drive away", as you suggest he do, and was shot through the heart by a carjacker, who remains at large after six weeks.
McClellan says, in his new letter, "We hope that officer safety is placed at the forefront of future CCW debates." In both letters, McClellan seems largely unconcerned with citizen safety. Ohioans For Concealed Carry, the Buckeye State Sheriffs Association, and the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police, are concerned with both.
To read Spt. McClellan's latest anti-self-defense letter, click "Read More..." link below.
Gongwer News Service
September 22, 2003
Hundreds of Ohioans who have been victims of violent criminal actions would not have suffered those attacks had the General Assembly enacted a law allowing people to carry concealed weapons, according to a report released Monday by backers of House-passed legislation that calls for an Ohio concealed-carry law.
The report, written for Ohioans For Concealed Carry (OFCC) by a University of Georgia professor, indicates that 400 such attacks since June would have been prevented if the law was in place.
Separately Monday, another organization presented experts who refuted the data used to reach the conclusions in the report. Those researchers, speaking on behalf of the Ohio State Chapter of the American Constitution Society, said information used in the report is misleading and unreliable.
Click on the "Read More..." link below for more.
This Thursday, Ohio's two major law enforcement groups, the Buckeye State Sheriffs Association and the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police, will try to convince the Ohio State Highway Patrol that the language they encouraged the Senate to adopt in Am. Sub. HB12 is regarding carrying firearms in vehicles is UNSAFE. This story from Missouri highlights just how ridiculous are the concerns of the OSHP.
In Missouri, as with 20 other states in the nation*, NO special license is required for citizens to bear arms for self-defense in their cars. And NONE of the OSHP's fears are being realized.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
JEFFERSON CITY - The people who are peppering sheriffs' offices with questions about how to get a concealed weapon permit may not understand one part of the law, officials said Friday. The law does not require Missouri residents to get a permit to conceal a weapon in a car, said James L. Vermeersch, executive director of the Missouri Sheriffs' Association.
Under the legislation, people 21 or older may carry a handgun anywhere in a motor vehicle, with or without a permit. Prior state law made it illegal to hide a gun in an accessible place in a vehicle.
Law enforcement officers met with state officials for the second time Friday to work out implementation of the law, which officially takes effect Oct. 11. Most sheriffs won't begin to process permits until Oct. 14, Vermeersch said. Oct. 11 is a Saturday, and the following Monday is Columbus Day, when many public offices are closed.
Under the new law, the Missouri Highway Patrol will process applicants' fingerprints and send them to the FBI for a background check. Capt. Tim McGrail, director of the patrol's Criminal Records and Identification Division, said the department currently handles between 26,000 and 40,000 fingerprints from nurses, teachers and other applicants. Some estimate that Missouri will have 60,000 concealed-carry applicants in the first year the law is in effect.
Starting in July, people with a concealed-carry endorsement will have a special code on their drivers licenses. The permits are good for three years, but some drivers licenses are good for six years. That presents some issues for the state Department of Revenue.
The department wants to send notices to permit holders who allow their endorsement to lapse, saying they will need to get a new license without the special code, said Rich Lamb, deputy director of the Division of Motor Vehicle and Drivers Licensing.
Safety, studies spur move back to campus
September 22, 2003
Demand for university housing at Ohio State — on the rise for years — has hit a new high.
Yesterday, 9,258 students moved into dormitories, a 31 percent increase from 1995. New dorms with 500 new beds — the first student housing built in 34 years — are filling up with their first residents.
Safety concerns, a big freshman class, selective admissions and campus programs are reasons why, officials say.
"In talking with some students, they did say ‘My mom wants me to live on campus because she doesn’t want me east of High Street,’ " said Toni Greenslade-Smith, director of housing assignments.
Click on the "Read More..." link below for more.
44-year-old in hospital after assault
OAKWOOD | Police want to talk to a man who may have been at the scene Thursday when a Dayton man was severely beaten with a baseball bat.
Matthew Crawford, 44, collapsed in the driveway of 219 Shafor Blvd., a house owned by the Zax family, after exiting the house. Police would like to talk to Steve Zax Jr., who they say may have been present during the attack.
Officers were dispatched to the residence about 4:40 p.m. on a medic run after someone playing tennis next door heard a commotion and saw the injured man. That person called 911.
Capt. Walt Conroy said Crawford’s head injuries could be life-threatening. Police said he has not been able to tell them who’s responsible. In the ambulance, Crawford told medics that he’d been beaten, but the information was sketchy.
Conroy said Zax may split his time between the Shafor Road home and his mother’s farm in Spring Valley. Detectives have not learned where he works, or if he does. His father once owned a chain of health clubs, which he sold in the early ’90s. The younger Zax used to work in the family business.
Aggravated assaults are rare in Oakwood. Conroy said the last one was in 1998, and was part of a robbery.
Oakwood police ask anyone with information to call 298-2122.
Zax was last seen driving a 1994 gray Lincoln, license plate CA75EL.
Criminals do not need firearms to victimize and kill.
Was this one of the 96 assaults that could have been prevented this month by HB12?
Click here to read the story in the Dayton Daily News.
Northside man suing for the right to carry concealed weapons will strap his handgun on his hip Sept. 28 and lead a group of like-minded gun owners up and down his neighborhood streets.
Vernon Ferrier is hoping his "Gun Walk'' might light a fire under the Ohio Supreme Court in Columbus, where justices have been considering the concealed-carry issue for five months.
"I'd like to kick them off the fence,'' he said. "We haven't heard anything since April.''
He's also trying to make the point, he said, that carrying openly is ridiculous and defeats the goal of being able to surprise a would-be criminal. And while he says he's not trying to taunt the police, he also wants to prove it is legal to carry a weapon openly. Officers, he said, initially told him he couldn't.
"I'd like for that 80-year-old woman walking down the street to be able to have a gun in her purse,'' Ferrier said. "It doesn't work the same if she's got it out where someone can see it.''
Ferrier is part of a group of Cincinnatians that sued every municipality in Hamilton County, the city of Cincinnati, the county and the state in July 2000, charging that the ban on concealed weapons violates their constitutional rights.
Northside is a neighborhood keenly aware of the concealed-carry debate.
In May, resident and citizens-on-patrol member Hal McKinney, shot a man in Junker's Tavern during a robbery. The shooting - and the grand jury's decision not to indict McKinney - drew national attention.
Ferrier, a 62-year-old hairdresser in Hyde Park, notified Cincinnati police of his plan.
Estimates suggest thousands of victimizations avoidable each year
Group says Senate/Taft failure to compromise on concealed carry bill to
CLEVELAND: Over four hundred Ohioans would not have suffered a violent
criminal attack if Ohio House Bill 12 was passed into law in June, according to a report released today by Ohioans For Concealed Carry, Ohio's largest grassroots organization focused solely on restoring Ohioans' right to bear arms for self-defense.
The report compares estimates based on FBI Uniform Crime Report data and the
nationwide "before and after" effects experienced after the passage of
concealed carry legislation.
"The conclusion is simple common sense, " said Jeff Garvas, president of Ohioans For Concealed Carry. "Hundreds of criminal victimizations and deaths in Ohio are easily preventable by the defensive and deterrent effects of concealed carry legislation."
Ohio – The Heart of All Defenselessness, along with graphical representation of the data sets, can be obtained at www.OhioCCW.org or by contacting OFCC by phone or email.
University of Georgia Professor David Mustard used raw FBI data from nearly
20 years of crime reports when comprising the report for OFCC. Analysis of the results suggest that as each month passes, the political obstruction imposed by the Ohio Senate and Governor Taft are responsible for approximately 3 murders, 18 rapes, 29 robberies, and as many as 96 aggravated assaults.
"In the academic research literature, concealed carry laws are the only gun
laws that frequently show reductions in crime," said Mustard. Based on the
documented reductions seen in violent crime rates after other states have passed concealed carry reform laws, Mustard was able to project the crime reduction Ohio could expect if HB12 was fixed and adopted into law.
Ohio is one of only five states that do not have a legal mechanism for law-abiding adults to carry a firearm for self-defense. The bill that left the Ohio House exceeded restrictions adopted by every state surrounding Ohio, yet the Ohio Senate continued that trend. No legislative body in the nation has enacted the extensive restrictions Governor Taft secretly convinced the Ohio Senate to add in HB12.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol opposes any legislation that would allow license holders to keep loaded firearms in cars, erroneously claiming it compromises the safety of their officers. But the Buckeye State Sheriffs Association and Fraternal Order of Police disagree with the OSHP
bureaucracy. These two major law enforcement groups have indicated that the
Senate's restrictions on carrying a firearm in a motor vehicle are unsafe, since they would mandate frequent handling of a firearm every time someone enters or exits a vehicle. According to Statehouse sources, Governor Bob Taft and the Ohio State Highway Patrol were alone in demanding these controversial amendments.
Representative Jim Aslanides, sponsor of HB12, repeatedly warned Senators to come up with a bill that would be acceptable to the courts and not worry about a veto threat from Taft. Senate President White (R-Manchester) indicated he would do just that - on April 29, he told Gongwer News Service that his chamber would not be looking for guidance from Governor Bob Taft as it begins consideration of a measure (HB 12). At that time, Senator White said he expects the Senate to deal with the bill expeditiously. "We'll do
what we have to do" to get it out of the Senate, he said. "Our focus is not now with the governor." Without identifying the specific provisions, Senator White noted to Gongwer that he didn't see a need for the extra restrictive language from last session's bill, HB274. HB274 died in the
Unfortunately, Senator White's words have proven to be far different from his deeds when it comes to amending HB12. In a secretive, 11th hour rush-job last June, the bill was packed with restrictive language no Senator was seeking. Further, these last-minute amendments were never discussed in a public committee hearing.
Senator Lynn Wachtmann (R-Napoleon) said "This report proves what proponents
of this legislation have been saying all
along. It's heart-wrenching to see the numbers of Ohioans who are being
victimized while some continue to play politics. I have asked Senate President White to appoint conferees to a committee on Amended Substitute House Bill 12, and I am encouraging other colleagues to do so as well."
The Ohio General Assembly has just returned to Columbus. Ohioans For
Concealed Carry is calling upon Senator White to do what he said in April, do what is right for Ohio, and pass a proper concealed carry reform bill without looking to the executive branch for guidance.
"This report puts it in black and white," said OFCC PAC Chairman Jim Irvine. "Every political delay - brought on by a Republican Senator unwilling to veto a governor of his own party - brings more victimization to Ohioans, in the form of rape, murder, assault and robbery."
RETRIEVING THE REPORT:
Ohio - The Heart of All Defenselessness can be retrieved at www.OhioCCW.org, or via email or fax (must contact either Jeff Garvas or Chad Baus). We have made an Adobe PDF and Microsoft Word version for greater flexibility. The report, along with accompanying charts and graphs, may be re-published if OhioCCW.org is cited as the source.
For a graphical representation of the Ohio victim list, check out the "Ohio Crime Clock" in the upper right hand corner of the homepage.