Cuyahoga Co. prosecutor's office drops charges in anticipation of permitless carry law
WJW (Fox Cleveland) is reporting that the Cuyahoga prosecutor's office is reviewing its current cases in light of the recent passage of SB 215 set to bring permitless carry to Ohio on June 13.
From the article:
Starting in June, if you have a clean record, you won’t need a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
But, the I-Team started asking questions after we uncovered two concealed weapons cases just dismissed in Cuyahoga County. They were dismissed in advance of the new law even though they’d been filed a while ago.
“We will be dismissing the charge so as not to punish someone today for an act that will be legal in about eight weeks from now,” the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement. “We do not know how many cases this will affect as each one needs to be individually reviewed to see if the defendant meets those conditions.”
We tracked down one man who’d had charges dropped in a case of carrying a concealed weapon.
“For sure, a huge weight off my shoulders,” Christopher Hamilton said. “Been a lot of violence here, and killings, you know. I just want to be able to protect myself and my family. I was very happy about the situation.”
It is important to note that this may not be the case in other counties. Indeed, WJW contacted the prosecutor's office in Trumbull County (as well as three othe counties which did not answer), and got a far different answer:
“We will enforce the law up until June 13, which is the day this new law goes into effect,” said Chris Becker, assistant Trumbull County prosecutor. “And, we have an obligation, we believe, to the public and to the law itself. And, the spirit of the law is, if a crime exists, up until the day it no longer exists, we will prosecute the crime.”
The simple fact is law does not change until June 13, and anyone who carries without a permit now in the State of Ohio runs the risk of felony prosecution.
Chad D. Baus served as Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary from 2013-2019, and continues to serve on the Board of Directors. He is co-founder of BFA-PAC, and served as its Vice Chairman for 15 years. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website, and is also an NRA-certified firearms instructor.