BREAKING: Cincinnati Files Suit Over Preemption, Intends to Enact Gun Control Laws
Despite the fact that the Ohio Supreme Court in 2010 ruled that Ohio's preemption law on firearms is constitutional, and despite recently losing a lawsuit over firearms ordinances, the city of Cincinnati has decided to again waste its citizens' tax dollars and re-litigate settled law.
On Friday, Jan. 27, 2023, the city of Cincinnati filed a complaint against the state of Ohio for declaratory and injunctive relief in the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas.
The complaint alleges that Ohio's "preemption" law forbidding political subdivisions from regulating firearms, their components, ammunition, and knives is unconstitutional and illegal.
Preemption, as spelled out in Ohio Revised Code 9.68, has been the law since it took effect in March of 2007. It has been upheld in previous lawsuits, including a 2010 Ohio Supreme Court ruling, which declared O.R.C. 9.68 valid in all respects, and a recent case involving Cincinnati's illegal bump stock ban, which cost the city $235,218 in legal fees when they lost to Buckeye Firearms Foundation after the case reached the Ohio Supreme Court.
"Cincinnati is following the lead of Columbus in ignoring settled law and previous court decisions," said Dean Rieck, Executive Director of Buckeye Firearms Association.
"And just as Columbus' challenge will eventually be defeated, Cincinnati, too, will lose in court. Either lower courts will decide the matter or, once again, the Ohio Supreme Court will weigh in and remind Ohio's cities that they have no home rule authority on the matter of Second Amendment rights."
Ohio is one of 42 states with preemption provisions that set firearms regulation at the state level and forbid municipalities and other political subdivisions from enacting gun control that is more strict than state law.
"There is not only overwhelming precedent for preemption," continued Rieck. "There is the practical matter of having a consistent and clearly understood set of gun laws rather than a random patchwork of laws. If every one of Ohio's more than 2,000 cities, villages, and townships passed their own gun laws, no one could possibly keep up.
"Just driving to work, attending church, or going to the grocery could turn you into a law-breaker as you traveled from place to place and crossed municipal boundaries. Ohio solved this problem 16 years ago, but Columbus, and now Cincinnati, seek to sow confusion," argues Rieck.
"And for what? To pass gun laws violent criminals will not obey, and which will accomplish nothing but entrap otherwise law-abiding residents? City leaders should be ashamed of themselves for this blatantly political gamesmanship."
In addition to filing the complaint against Ohio, Cincinnati has also announced it seeks to pass "emergency" gun laws after a Fairfield County judge denied a request from Ohio Attorney General Yost to block firearm regulations recently enacted by the city of Columbus.
The ordinances, proposed for passage on Feb. 8, include mandated safe storage where children may have access to firearms and a prohibition on gun possession by those convicted of a misdemeanor offense of domestic violence or those subject to a temporary protection or restraining order which involves an intimate partner or an intimate partner's child.
"Buckeye Firearms Association and Ohio's 4 million gun owners will fight this," said Rieck. "We will not allow rogue cities to eviscerate the progress we've made over the last two decades just so they can grandstand and pretend that they're fighting crime, when all they're doing is wasting taxpayer dollars on political theater."