Judge Allows Columbus Gun Laws to Take Effect - AG Yost to Appeal
A Fairfield County judge has denied a request from Ohio Attorney General Yost to block firearm regulations recently enacted by the city of Columbus.
The ordinances, which ban magazines that hold 30 or more rounds and mandate firearm storage in the home where children are present, took effect Saturday, Jan. 20, 2023, at midnight.
Yost's office has said they will appeal.
"We're disappointed with the ruling in Fairfield County that denies the state of Ohio's request to block the city of Columbus from enforcing gun regulations," said Dean Rieck, Executive Director of Buckeye Firearms Association.
"The Ohio legislature enacted statewide firearm preemption in 2007 and it clearly forbids cities and other political subdivisions from regulating firearms, their components, ammunition, and knives. And we continue to believe Columbus has no legal authority in this matter.
"So far, the rulings have been procedural and the case is far from over. Mayor Ginther and City Attorney Klein know this and are using this political charade to deflect blame for crime under their watch.
"City leaders know who is responsible for their violent crime because they issued a report in 2021 pointing to 17 gangs and 480 members of those gangs. Why aren't they using this information to tackle crime directly instead of passing new gun laws criminals won't obey?"
As passed by Columbus City Council, the ordinances:
- Ban "large capacity magazines" that can hold 30 or more rounds, or can be converted to accept that many rounds. This misdemeanor would result in a mandatory 180 consecutive days in jail without work release, and potentially up to one year, and a $1,500 fine.
- Add to the crimes of negligent homicide and negligent assault "storing or leaving a deadly weapon" in one's residence in a manner in which a minor could reasonably be anticipated to gain access to it. Storing weapons in a safe, gun case or with a trigger lock would be presumed to have exercised due care. Violators face a third-degree misdemeanor, or — if a juvenile gains access to the weapon — a fourth-degree misdemeanor. Having a weapon on them in their home or in their "immediate control" is not a violation.
- Prohibit anyone from recklessly selling, lending, giving or furnishing a firearm to any other person who is known or there is reasonable cause to believe they can't legally possess it. A violator could face a first-degree misdemeanor.
Buckeye Firearms Association has remained in close contact with the Attorney General's office and is considering further litigation.
BFA remains convinced that these ordinances violate Ohio's preemption laws found in R.C. 9.68 which forbid political subdivisions from regulating firearms, their components, ammunition, and knives. And we are confident that if this case reaches the Ohio Supreme Court, which has already ruled that preemption is valid law, the Columbus ordinances will be struck down.
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