Does posting a sign make it a''gun free'' community?

When OhioCCW became law, Columbus Mayor Mike Coleman ran to a city park, set up a press conference in front of a jungle gym, and expressed how appalled he was that city officials were prohibited from banning firearms in their parks. Coleman, who is now running for the Democrat nomination for governor in Ohio, called the state's concealed carry law "a travesty for our city and for our state."

While Coleman's grandstanding was ridiculous, he deserves recognition for one thing: unlike officials in the City of Clyde and Toledo, Coleman recognized that Ohio law truly does prohibit his city from banning guns in parks.

Given that admission, the discovery of "gun-free" signs posted on city streets comes as a bit of a shock. In a Columbus report about increased gang activity, NewsChannel 4 included a photograph of a sign that has law-abiding citizens wondering if the City is trying to prohibit their legal right to bear arms for self-defense with a firearm in these communities.

From the story:

    Columbus' west side is place where people walk the streets during the day with little worry, but at night, some residents said there's a whole new level of fear in the drug- and gun-free neighborhood.

    Many people would not talk on camera because they were afraid of the new west-side gangs.

    Undercover officers are now coming face-to-face with what they're calling the New Breed Criminals, a fast-growing gang that is reportedly committing violent crimes and harming innocent victims in Lincoln Park, Andrews reported.

    The problem is so severe that gang unit detectives are educating city code enforcement officers.

    A three-hour presentation and training session was recently held by detectives who work the streets and read the "writing" on the walls. They are tying graffiti, gangs, drugs and criminals to illegal activity in California, Andrews reported.

    Columbus police and Franklin County officials are cracking down on the west-side gang activity and are constantly making arrests, Andrews reported.

    But residents said that with low bonds for criminals, many of the offenders are back on the streets the next day.

Are officials from the City of Columbus and Mayor Coleman trying to send a message to people not to bear arms for self-defense in these dangerous communities? Could a CHL-holder be prosecuted for exercise an other-wise legal activity in these so-called "gun-free" communities?

These are important questions, and Ohio's CHL-holders deserve answers.

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