Cleveland Plain Dealer fails to report truth about local gun control laws

Just days before Election Day 2018, the Cleveland Plain Dealer published a series of articles exploring how Ohio's pro-gun legislators (many of whom were up for reelection and would have very little time to respond to the expose) "took away" local government's ability to establish gun control laws, and then implied that a rise in "gun deaths" was the result.

The articles, written by Rich Exner, Peter Krouse and Evan MacDonald, were all written from the perspective of lamenting the prohibition of local gun control laws.

Since they had placed so much time and effort into speculating on the subject, I thought the three reporters might find it helpful to be reminded of what we already know about how local gun control laws were used in Ohio, back when they were legal. So I sent them the following:

Peter, Evan and Rich -

Now that you have documented (lamented?) the loss of local municipalities ability to "experiment" with gun control, I encourage you to do an article exploring what cities did with their ability to experiment when it was legal and how effective it was. It's not like we don't have a wealth of evidence that these types of laws are ineffective.

It shouldn't be too hard - we did the work on this eleven years ago because the Plain Dealer wouldn't.

The truth about Cleveland’s “Assault Weapon Ban” - Part I

The truth about Cleveland’s “Assault Weapon Ban” - Part II

This article from 2005 after Columbus passed a so-called "assault weapons" ban provides a good legal explanation about why local gun control (misdemeanors) are never used when it's time to bring charges:

Way back in 2002 the Toledo Blade reported that that city's ban on so-called "Saturday Night Specials" was anything BUT "worthwhile and effective." The Blade found that in the three years since Toledo City Council banned the sale and possession of cheap and easily concealed handguns, only eight people were charged - and only two convicted. All but one of those charges were filed in 2000.

Again, if you are going to give voice to local politicians' claims that they are being handcuffed by statewide preemption, you should also report on what they actually did before the "handcuffs" were put on. The answer is, virtually nothing. And that is exactly what Ohioans could expect if Ohio's preemption law was somehow overturned.

I'll look forward to your reply.

Of course, as you might have guessed, it's been just over a month and there has been no reply. Perhaps these reporters need to hear from other readers who would like for the Plain Dealer to report on "the rest of the story."

If you feel inclined, please feel free to email them at:

Rich Exner - [email protected]
Peter Krouse - [email protected]
Evan MacDonald - [email protected]

Their boss is Editor George Rodrique - [email protected]

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is co-founder of BFA-PAC, and served as its Vice Chairman for 15 years. He is the editor of, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.

Related Article:

Cleveland Plain Dealer admits anti-gun editorial error; Has refused to correct past mistakes

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