Burden of Proof: Taft and Highway Patrol have no case against CCW
The Ohio Highway Patrol and Gov. Taft waited until HB274's eleventh hour to weigh in on HB274. After nearly two years of opportunity to voice concerns, the OHP announced last December that they would oppose any bill that allowed Ohioans their right to self-defense in a vehicle.
Despite the glaring unconstitutionality of this proposed exclusion, and based on comments already made this session, we believe that Taft and the OHP will again fight to have the denial of self-defense rights in vehicles inserted into HB12.
The burden of proof rests squarely on the OHP/ Taft's shoulders, and they will NEVER be able to deliver. There is NO evidence to support their assertion that law enforcement officers are put at risk by law-abiding citizens carrying concealed firearms in their car. There are no studies, even ones with twisted statistics, that draw this conclusion. How can that be? Because there is NO record of a law enforcement officers having been injured by a CCW permit holder during a traffic stop, anywhere in the 44 CCW states.
We can, on the other hand, offer numerous examples of armed citizens coming to the aid of officers in peril.
Following are some of the many examples of how CCW promotes officer safety.
Herald-Tribune, Sarasota, FL
Driving to work one morning, Jim Povia, of Sarasota, Florida, saw a state trooper with his service pistol drawn, confronting a trio of male suspects during a traffic stop. Povia, a right-to-carry permit holder, pulled over and grabbed his .40 cal. pistol and went to the aid of the officer. The two held the men until backup arrived. The driver of the vehicle was driving with a suspended license and a gun was found in the rear of the vehicle. The three men were charged with felony weapons possession.
The Post, Houston, TX
In the finest tradition of armed citizens who take on crime in their communities, Texan Travis Neel helped save a wounded Harris County deputy sheriff's life. Witnessing the shooting by one of a trio of Houston gang members after a traffic stop just west of Houston, Neel--who was on his way to his pistol range--pulled his gun and fired, driving the officer's assailants away. An off-duty sheriff's deputy also came on the scene and joined Neel in covering the deputy, whose life was saved by his body armor. The trio was captured after a manhunt.
The Bulletin, Norwich, CT
While the situation ended without incident, armed citizen Michael Acree stood ready to lend a hand when a police officer stopped a carload of unruly teenagers outside his Salem, Connecticut, home. Noticing the youths scuffling with the officer, Acree retrieved his pistol and went out onto his lawn. When the youths saw Acree and his handgun, they calmed down and the situation ended peaceably. Acree earned the appreciation both of town officials and the officer.
The Daily Commercial, Leesburg, FL
Vincent McCarthy wasn't afraid to lend a hand when he noticed a police officer struggling with a man and woman at the side of the road. He tried to help subdue the man who was kicking the officer in the face. Despite McCarthy's warnings, when the man pressed his assault, the tour boat captain shot him once in the leg with a pistol he is licensed to carry and stopped the attack. Neither the officer nor McCarthy were seriously injured.
The Observer, Charlotte, NC
A North Myrtle Beach, N.C., citizen was credited by the city's public safety director with possibly saving the life of Police Officer Richard Jernick. Jernick had pulled over a suspected bank robber's car after a chase, when the suspect charged the cruiser and pointed a gun at the officer, who was still behind the wheel. At that point authorities said, the robbery suspect saw that James Beach, a semi-retired electrician who had joined the pursuit, had a pistol pointed at him. Startled, the robber ran for his car, and Officer Jernick was able to shoot and wound him.
The Star-Banner, Ocala, FL
When a drug-trafficking suspect fleeing a state police traffic stop ran through an Ocala, Fla., campground, he was spotted by the manager. Leonard Hicks armed himself and held the man at gunpoint for pursuing officers. An officer later commented, We wouldn't have caught the suspect if it hadn't been for him.
The Valley Daily News, Renton, WA
The armed man who intended to rob a Renton, Wash., gunshop should have been forewarned by the police cruiser he had to walk past to enter the store, and the uniformed officer standing just inside the door. Belatedly noticing the policeman, the would-be robber began shooting at him. The officer and a store clerk armed with a semi-auto pistol returned fire, fatally wounding the man.
The Press-Herald, Minden, LA
During a drug arrest in Webster Parish, La., a sheriff's deputy and a state trooper found themselves struggling with their two suspects. But four citizens observed the battle and, armed with shotguns, they came to the officers' aid--enabling them to make the arrests.
The Chronicle, San Francisco, CA
Dave Storton, a San Jose, Calif., police officer, was doing off-duty security work at an apartment complex when two burglars knocked the officer down and attempted to grab his revolver. During the struggle, one of the assailants bit off part of Storton's ear, but the two attackers were run off by an apartment resident who came to the rescue, armed with a shotgun.
The Daily Oklahoman, Oklahoma City, OK
Miami, Okla., motel owner Oba Edwards witnessed two policemen struggling with a man they were attempting to arrest and saw the man wrest away one officer's revolver, shoot and kill him. Edwards armed himself and fired a shot that allowed the remaining officer to recover his partner's revolver and fatally wound the attacker. The dead man was on probation for assault of a Texas police officer.
The Morning Herald, Hagerstown, MD
Police officer Chris Haldeman entered a Chambersburg, PA gold and silver exchange to arrest a suspect in a stolen property case, but the man resisted and a struggle ensued. The 220-lb. suspect had Haldeman pinned to the ground and was choking him when storekeeper Ken Cummings pulled his pistol and shot the officer's attacker in the leg. The man, a known felon, managed to escape, and Det. Haldeman was treated at a local hospital and released.
The Morning News, Dallas, TX
A stolen car bearing three escaped convicts was stopped on a Kansas highway by a state trooper. When the officer ordered the men from the vehicle, they sped away. With the trooper in pursuit, the escapees crashed in the town of Gorham; two were captured as they crawled free of the wreckage. The third convict attempted to flee on foot, only to be collared by several onlookers who had secured rifles from their pickups at the trooper's call for assistance.
The Times-Tribune, Corbin, KY
Corbin, Ky., motel operator Ray Miracle came upon state trooper James Phelps attempting to subdue two drunken occupants of a stopped auto and, carrying his revolver, went to the officer's aid. At that point, another car stopped and one of two men inside levelled a gun on Trooper Phelps. Seeing Miracle's drawn gun, however, they hastily drove off. Kentucky State Police rewarded Miracle with their highest civilian honor.
The Post, Houston, TX
Ralph Festavan watched as a heroin peddler attacked a Shreveport, La., policeman and grabbed the officer's gun. Festavan ran to the patrol car parked nearby and got a shotgun with which he shot and killed the pusher.
The Times-Union, Rochester, NY
Dennis Koch was putting storm windows on his fiancee's house when he observed a youth run into nearby woods. He passed the information on to a police officer who stopped by minutes later and told Koch he was searching for a burglary suspect. He gave Koch permission to assist him. Carrying his pistol, for which he has a permit, Koch found the youth hiding and held him in custody until the officer could place him under arrest.
The Memphis Press-Scimitar, Memphis, TN
A Missouri state trooper had been shot three times by two armed robbery suspects when armed citizen Robert Riley of Tiptonville, Tenn., rushed to his aid. Riley fired a small caliber pistol at the assailants until they surrendered. The law officer was then rushed to a hospital.
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Ontario, CA
Inland Valley, California, Humane Society officer Amy Murillo, 27, was responding to a local resident's pleas when she attempted to call off a vicious dog. But the animal turned on Murillo, jumping at her and causing her to fall against her vehicle. She suffered several bites to the head and chest from the crazed animal. Witnessing the young officer's plight, the resident who had summoned her help returned the favor by running to his house and retrieving a handgun. The dog then turned on the man who shot twice, killing it.
The Daily Facts, Redlands, CA
Redlands, California, sheriff's deputies credited an armed citizen with helping them capture four men and two juveniles who had just robbed a convenience store and pointed a gun at a plain clothes police officer as they made their initial getaway. Following a short chase all the suspects were captured. “One of the guys was detained at gunpoint by a resident who really helped us," Sheriff's Sgt. Bobby Phillips said. "He kept him there on the ground until we got there."
The Review Courier, Alva, OK
Things had turned ugly for Oklahoma Highway Patrol Officer Rick Wallace. He had found marijuana on a speeder, but was overpowered by the man before he could cuff him. Passerby Adolph Krejsek witnessed the altercation and came to the rescue, using his own firearm to help the trooper control the suspect. After helping subdue the assailant, Krejsek used the injured trooper's radio to call for help.
Associated Press, IN
In Indianapolis 17-year-old Gerald Watson stood near a policeman who questioned a robbery suspect when the suspect's accomplice appeared on the scene and shot the officer down. Watson, who had taught marksmanship at the YMCA, grabbed the fallen policeman's service revolver and shot the felon dead.
In Saraland, Ala., the berserk husband of a woman charged with possession of illegal whisky killed one police officer and wounded another but, as he tried to make his escape, was shot dead by Carlos McDonald, the proprietor of a nearby shop.
Two gunmen kidnapped an Eclectic, Ala., town policeman and used the officer to gain admittance to the home of Carl Ray Barker in the early morning hours. Barker, an Eclectic banker, was taken by one gunman into town to open the bank's vault, his wife, child, and the town policeman being held hostage by the armed companion pending a safe return from the bank. When the time-vault resisted opening, the gunman returned Barker to his house and, after some debate, took the policeman away with him to get tape for binding all hostages until morning, when another attempt was to be made on the vault. Barker, now held in his home with wife and child by the second armed man, asked if he could make coffee. The robber assented and Barker put water on the stove and got it boiling. "I took the scalding water to the living room," said Barker. "When he held his cup, I just poured the water in his face and grabbed his gun." Barker pistol-whipped the robber into submission, loaded a shotgun and waited for the return of the other bandit. When the door opened, the captive policeman dived out of the way and Barker killed the would-be bank robber with two blasts. Barker said he feared for his family's safety and, "I didn't want my bank to get a bad name about being robbed."