Help Buckeye Firearms stop Cleveland's abuse of law-abiding gun owners

The Law Applies to the Little People in Cleveland, but Not Mayor Jackson?

Fresh on the heels of a poll naming Cleveland the second least-desirable U.S. city to live in, Mayor Jackson appears determined to make a run at the top spot as Cleveland continues to be the only municipality in Ohio illegally enforcing local firearm laws. The victims? Cleveland's own taxpayers.

Local firearm laws were preempted by HB347, as was affirmed by the Ohio Supreme Court. Despite this legal reality, Cleveland continues to throw the legal equivalent of a temper tantrum by filing charges against tax payers for possessing unregistered handguns.

Buckeye Firearms Foundation will stop Cleveland and other cities like it from targeting gun owners like you. We must ask for your help with funding. Through Buckeye, all gun owners can act together so that no gun owner will be left facing a rogue city alone.

Readers of this website are familiar with the Cleveland Plain Dealer story which first reported that Mayor Jackson ordered the police to continue to enforce local ordinances, despite preemption.

Readers of this website are also aware that Mayor Jackson attempted to backpedal from his earlier defiance, claiming in another Plain Dealer story that the registration of firearms was "voluntary" while also having the spokesperson take the fall by claiming he was not authorized ever to speak for the Mayor’s office.

Judging by breaking news events described below, Cleveland, it would appear, thinks "register or we will criminally charge you" is voluntary.

Damon Wells is a young Cleveland resident and crime victim who managed to make it through a horrific ordeal. Wells, confronted by two young criminals, was forced to defend himself, killing one of the attackers. Unfortunately, Damon's recovery could not begin from this point forward, because a misguided community turned out with teddy bear shrines for the fallen probationer/thug, and subsequently vandalized Damon’s house. The victim continued to be victimized until the NAACP volunteered, along with off-duty Cleveland police, to stay with Damon at his house and provide protection. Damon's only comments about the armed robber were "It is good to know he was loved by people ... tell his family I am sorry."

The accomplice attacker was charged and convicted, and Damon never faced criminal charges. As Buckeye Firearms Association and the Plain Dealer reported, Damon Wells had to fight to get police to return the gun he used to defend himself. The City apparently was not amused that a mere citizen would insist on the return of a legally-owned firearm.

Some months after the Court ordered Cleveland to return Damon’s handgun, Damon, who is a young, black male, was a passenger in a motor vehicle subjected to a traffic stop. Damon complied with all areas of state law in notifying the officer of his licensed, armed status. Despite his compliance with state law and lack of any other criminal conduct, Cleveland charged Damon, who has a valid Ohio Concealed Handgun License, with carrying an unregistered handgun.

It was only after Buckeye Firearms Association provided coverage of Damon's case, as well as two other persons charged with possessing unregistered handguns, that Mayor Jackson did an about-face with the Plain Dealer and announced that registration was voluntary. A motion to dismiss charges was filed in Damon's case, and the court granted the motion in November of 2008.

Apparently infuriated that the law provides for mandatory attorney fees in cases where a gun owner succeeds in thwarting illegal efforts by a city to enforce local ordinances, Chief Prosecutor Victor Perez ordered that charges for the same incident be re-filed against Damon Wells. That is right - no new incident or facts - they just want a "do-over," and rather than bothering to file an appeal it is easier to just re-charge the same indigent Defendant.

Damon has received legal counsel to defend himself against the criminal charges at no cost, and he will continue to receive legal defense in his criminal case. However, one thing is clear: Cleveland will continue this behavior in Damon's case, and others, until they are finally ordered to cease enforcing all of their local firearm ordinances. There is also a very serious threat of other cities around Ohio following Cleveland's lead, so we must act NOW. To that end, Buckeye Firearms Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity, is soliciting funds to help pay for the civil case against Cleveland, seeking an end to the madness.

Donations to Buckeye Firearms Foundation, Inc. are tax deductible, and will be used exclusively for battles to protect your gun rights. Since legal cases like this include mandatory attorney fees, we hope this initial fundraising push will serve as "seed money" for future court cases, because money spent on cases won should be recouped at the end of the case and become available for other cases.

Cleveland will continue this behavior until a court orders them to stop. That won't happen without financial support from YOU. Please help us help you.

You can donate online through Paypal by clicking the Donate Button below or make your check payable to Buckeye Firearms Foundation, Inc.

Then mail your check to:

Buckeye Firearms Foundation, Inc.
15 West Winter Street
Delaware, Ohio 43015

This is the same address as Buckeye Firearms Association. But your check must be made out to the Foundation. By law, we must keep these funds separate. And remember, your donation to the Foundation is tax deductible for charitable purposes.

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Buckeye Firearms Association is a grassroots organization dedicated to defending and advancing the right of citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities, including self-defense, hunting, competition, and recreation. Read more.