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As the Senate Judiciary Committee on Criminal Justice enters the final stretch of discussions on potential changes to HB12, we think it is important to keep the following in mind:
Tennesseans made a lot of compromises to appease anti-gun pressures when creating their law in 1994. Only now, eight years later, are many of the major problems with Tennessee's CCW law being dealt with, and anti-self-defense extremists in that state are still spouting the same false rhetoric they did in 1994.
Let this be a lesson to us in Ohio. This example from Tennessee presents all the more reason to tell our Ohio legislators NOT to weaken HB12 with compromises to appease the FOP police labor union, Ohio Chamber of Commerce/ Ohio Manufacturers Association, Million Mom March/ Brady Campaign, the Ohio Highway Patrol, or Bob Taft.
Click here to read the entire story about the fight in Tennessee to fix original problems.
Click here NOW to access the updated Grassroots Action Guide, which details your call-to-action for the next two weeks.
This column doesn't address concealed carry reform, but should serve as a reminder that we all would do well to offer non-shooters the opportunity to try it out. All too often, it's a much better "converter" than facts, figures, and anecdotal stories about crime and defenselessness.
By Andrea Might
I never realized how much I have in common with Annie Oakley.
A resident of nearby Darke County, Phoebe Moses, better known as Annie Oakley, was best known for her expertise with guns and rifles when she was alive in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
However, I never knew Oakley was also a writer, according to a story about her that ran in the Greenville Daily Advocate on Nov. 4, 1926, shortly after she died.
[And] although I am not a hunter or an expert with a rifle, as Oakley was, I had the chance to hold and shoot a gun for the first time on Easter Sunday while visiting with my future in-laws in New Paris.
Click here to read the entire column in the Oxford Press.
May 29, 2003
Dayton Daily News
The Ohio State Highway Patrol has opposed numerous bills introduced in the General Assembly that would allow private citizens to carry concealed firearms, including firearms in motor vehicles.
The OSHP's stated reason is the fear that concealed-carry licensees will shoot officers during traffic stops. In an e-mail dated May 5, 2003, the OSHP stated: "... There is significant statistical evidence that carrying loaded firearms in motor vehicles is a catalyst for the loss of life; for both law enforcement and civilians."
The OSHP's fear is unfounded. Forty-three states issue licenses to private citizens to carry concealed firearms, including loaded firearms in motor vehicles.
Some 3.5 million such licenses are in force. To date, no peace officer in any state has ever been assaulted during a traffic stop by any licensee using a legally carried concealed firearm.
The OSHP must believe we Ohioans are a different and more violent breed of human than residents of the 43 states that have concealed-carry licensing.
Richard W. Martin
Click here to read the letter in the Dayton Daily News.
UPDATE! Click here to read the letter in the Columbus Dispatch.
Tiffin Advertiser Tribune - A hearing date has been set for the appeal of a local decision that declared unconstitutional Ohio's law against carrying a concealed weapon.
The hearing is set for 9 a.m. June 17 in the Third District Court of Appeals in Lima before Judges Sumner E. Walters, Stephen R. Shaw and Robert R. Cupp, according to the court's schedule.
A Fostoria woman, riding as a passenger, was arrested after a June 2002 traffic stop in Fostoria. A Highway Patrol trooper found a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol under her seat with a round in the chamber and three more in the magazine, court papers show.
The woman, who said she needed the gun for protection, was subsequently charged with one count of carrying a concealed weapon.
Last November, the woman asked Seneca County Common Pleas Judge Michael P. Kelbley to throw out the case because the law was unconstitutional.
In February, Kelbley issued an 18-page ruling, doing just that. County Prosecutor Ken Egbert Jr. appealed the decision.
Click here for our original coverage of this, the third court and fifth judge, to rule Ohio's ban on self-defense with a concealed firearm unconstitutional.
Click here to read the story in the Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune.
Gongwer News Service - Last week, Governor Bob Taft announced that he has appointed Union County Sheriff John Overly to head up the state's homeland security efforts in the Department of Public Safety.
The sheriff, who is expected to join the department in June, will direct operational activities for the State of Ohio Security Task Force and the State Building Security Review Committee. He will also advise DPS Director
Kenneth Morckel on program development, analysis and policies and procedures
related to homeland security.
"Sheriff Overly brings a wealth of experience in law enforcement and
community relations to help Ohio strengthen our defenses and preparedness," Mr. Taft said in a statement announcing the appointment. "He will be a great addition to the Department of Public Safety as we continue our work in
ensuring the citizens of Ohio are safe."
Director Morckel (former head of the Ohio Highway Patrol) said the sheriff has vast experience in working with first responders and also led the implementation of Union County's MARCS project.
OFCC PAC Commentary:
Since the Buckeye State Sheriff's Association represents a large group of law enforcement officials who support concealed carry reform, perhaps Sheriff Overly will be able to enlighten his new anti-self-defense bosses on the merits of this legislation, and the benefits it will provide to Homeland Security efforts.
I recently got the Ohio FOP's annual request for money. Here is my reply:
Gongwer News Service - A Senate committee that has heard extensive testimony on a measure (HB 12) that would specifically permit gun owners to carry their weapons in a concealed fashion expects to have a substitute bill prepared for consideration next week and could call for a vote the following week, its chairman said Tuesday.
Senator Steve Austria (R-Beavercreek), chair of the Senate Judiciary on Criminal Justice Committee, said he the committee will be addressing three key issues – property owners’ ability to restrict guns; carrying weapons in vehicles and affirmative defense – in the new version of the bill.
He said, however, that the committee appears to be split on how to handle those issues. Negotiations, the senator said after the panel’s meeting on Tuesday, are ongoing with Sponsor Rep. Jim Aslanides (R-Coshocton), House leaders and officials from Governor Bob Taft’s office.
His comments came after a relatively brief meeting at which witnesses called for a wide range of changes in the bill – from making technical changes to enacting a more wide-open Vermont-style weapons law. Because the tide of witnesses appears to be slowing, Chairman Austria canceled the panel’s meeting scheduled for Wednesday.
Click on the "Read More..." link below for much more.
A man suspected in the killings of five women was arrested peacefully outside a tire store, ending a months-long manhunt in a case that terrified women across Louisiana.
Derrick Todd Lee, 34, was taken into custody by three police officers Tuesday evening, Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington said. Authorities had just missed apprehending Lee at a homeless shelter and then at a motel.
"We have taken a very dangerous person that is a serial murder suspect off the streets," Pennington said. He said Lee could be returned to Louisiana as early as Wednesday.
Click on the "Read More..." link below to find out how this case applies to Ohio's fight to restore self-defense rights.
May 28, 2003
In the Mike Keefe cartoon published on May 25, a man explains to his female companion that the "violent sociopath" holding a gun on her has a concealed weapon's permit, so it's OK. Well, are we supposed to believe that the violent sociopath has a gun only because of a concealed carry law? The violent sociopath doesn't need a permit; his permit comes from the voices in his head. The point of concealed carry, as the cartoonist surely knows, is to leave the violent sociopath in the dark about what the victim couple might be carrying by way of defense and thus, perhaps, he might be dissuaded.
We were quite surprised to see the terribly misleading cartoon, to which Mr. Wolters is referring, in the Enquirer, a paper which has published two pro-concealed carry reform editorials in as many years. The cartoonist is from a newspaper in Colorado, a state which has just improved the concealed carry law from "may issue" to "shall issue". Obviously the media in Colorado went to the same journalism schools that many in Ohio did.
Sunday, May 25, 2003
In answer to the lecture on the concealed-carry gun law from Dr. Jonathan Groner (letter, May 14), I wonder if he has been so preoccupied with the deaths of shooting victims that he has missed the many victims of drug overdoses, lawn-mower amputations, auto accidents, muggings, rapes, assaults, robberies and the ever-present fear of being a victim of any felon who makes use of a handgun?
Lawbreakers carry guns, usually concealed. That's what makes them lawbreakers. If an intruder forced his way into the doctor's home, instead of using a weapon, any weapon, maybe even a nine iron, I'm afraid all the odds would favor the intruder with a handgun. Perhaps the good doctor could talk him to death!
Not all physicians have come under the spell of the anti-Constitutionalists. Those Ohioans fighting battles against a misinformed medical community would do well to consider the words of Dr. Timothy M. Billups, MD, FACEP, who submitted written testimony in support of HB12. Billups is a "residency trained, Board Certified Emergency Medicine physician" with "nine years of clinical experience in several Emergency Departments in the Cleveland and Akron areas".
For an even greater resource, check out Doctors for Sensible Gun Laws which a collaborative effort by members of KeepAndBearArms.com.