Council repeals gun ban in Poland Municipal Forest; Solicitor laments CCW isn't "what the woods are designed for"

WFMJ (NBC Youngstown) is reporting that the Poland, OH village council has repealed an ordinance banning firearms in Poland Municipal Forest after threats of legal action from right-to-carry advocates.

Coverage from the Youngstown Vindicator published before the vote provides more details:

The ordinance, long on the books in the village, prohibits individuals from carrying guns in the public forest of about 250 acres. The ordinance violates state law, however, according to village Solicitor Anthony D’Apolito.

The issue was raised at an Aug. 4 village council meeting, at which time D’Apolito recommended to council that it repeal the ordinance. He said he expects council members to take action at the next meeting Tuesday.

At the time, some council members expressed concern about repealing the ordinance; council member Robert Limmer objected to repealing it.

D’Apolito and Russell Beatty Jr., village police chief and streets commissioner, also have raised concerns about the state law, although they have made sure that the village is in compliance. Signs prohibiting firearms have since been removed from entrances to the forest.

“It doesn’t take into account what the woods are designed for. I understand the right to bear arms – I appreciate that. But in the forest like that?” D’Apolito said.

I'm not sure what Mr. D’Apolito thinks the woods are "designed" for (Hunting? Hiking? Trapping? Mountain bikes? Meth labs? Perverts and sex acts? Robin Hood???), but it is a well-documented fact that remote public areas like this - including urban parks and trails - are actually USED by criminals in the commission of violent crimes against people who are there to enjoy the outdoors.

Again, from the article:

The issue came to his attention last month after the village received correspondence from someone who pointed out that the village ordinance violates state law. The correspondence also threatened legal action and pointed to a specific statute in the Ohio Revised Code.


Licensed handgun owners cannot carry handguns into police stations, school zones, courthouses, government buildings and other similar places “but you cannot restrict it in a place like woods or a park,” D’Apolito said.

The hard work of volunteers from Buckeye Firearms Association and other self-defense rights advocates on a veto override of then-Gov. Bob Taft on HB 347, which included language introducing a statewide preemption of local gun control laws, continues to pay off.

As BFA's Ken Hanson remarked on that historic day, "cities are out of the firearm regulation business."

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

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