ALERT: Cincinnati and Columbus have passed gun control legislation!
On Wednesday, May 9, 2018, Cincinnati City Council passed a municipal ordinance to ban bump stocks within city limits. Then on Monday, May 14, 2018, Columbus City Council followed suit and also banned bump stocks, and passed additional firearm laws.
In both cases, members of these city councils have claimed that Ohio "Preemption" law does not apply and that they are free to employ home rule powers to regulate these devices.
Effective in early 2007, Ohio Revised Code 9.68 made it clear that home rule does NOT apply to firearms (emphasis added):
The individual right to keep and bear arms, being a fundamental individual right that predates the United States Constitution and Ohio Constitution, and being a constitutionally protected right in every part of Ohio, the general assembly finds the need to provide uniform laws throughout the state regulating the ownership, possession, purchase, other acquisition, transport, storage, carrying, sale, or other transfer of firearms, their components, and their ammunition. Except as specifically provided by the United States Constitution, Ohio Constitution, state law, or federal law, a person, without further license, permission, restriction, delay, or process, may own, possess, purchase, sell, transfer, transport, store, or keep any firearm, part of a firearm, its components, and its ammunition.
We believe the attorneys of both cities are operating under the assumption that a bump stock is not a "component" and not "part of a firearm," and therefore fair game for regulation at the local level.
Our attorneys disagree and we believe that these bans represent a clear violation of Ohio law and the original intent of preemption, which is to avoid having a confusing patchwork of laws across the state.
This is NOT about bump stocks, per se. It is about rule of law in Ohio and our belief that 9.68 is clear in its purpose to establish one consistent set of laws for Ohio's 4 million gun owners.
Because these bans represent potential legal action, we cannot comment further. But we want to assure every gun owner in Ohio that we are aware of these new laws and, in the weeks ahead, will report fully on our response.
NOTE: If you are not attending your local city council meetings, we urge you to begin doing so. After the Parkland murders, some cities in Ohio have felt empowered to pass resolutions urging state legislators to pass draconian gun control laws, including Bexley and Worthington. While most cities understand they cannot legally pass local firearm laws, some wish to and have been, at the very least, discussing these wishes publicly.
As a resident of your city, it is your civic duty to clearly inform the members of city council that any local firearm law which violates state law opens up your city to legal action in addition to liability for "costs and reasonable attorney fees."
If your city has any such plans, contact us immediately.