Keep your eye on local government aiming to infringe gun rights in 2024

As 2024 gets underway next week, it will be easy to focus on the national and global stories of the day.

But don't let all of those big shiny objects distract you from the goings on in your own community. As former House Speaker Tip O'Neil often said, "All politics is local."

New bodies of city councils, township trustees, and school boards begin in January, and you can bet many of them are not staunch supporters of your gun rights.

Seminar coming in March: Active Shooter Threat and Response with Ed Monk

You are likely aware of Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus and their endless attacks on law-abiding gun owners under the guise of curbing gun violence. Cincinnati, for example, recently passed legislation requiring gun owners to report stolen firearms or face fines. Granted, that's already a state law. But then the city plans to hold those citizens' guns as ransom, to the tune of $200 if the guns are recovered and returned to an owner who didn't report the theft.

That action, like many others, is all for show and does nothing to curb violence or address the issues that lead to violence. They hate guns because it's a popular progressive view, and they want you to know it.

The courts have been inconsistent in recognizing the Ohio Supreme Court's 2010 ruling that ORC 9.68 — the preemption law — means cities are prohibited from enacting municipal gun laws. But without consequences like personal fines, such as what occurs in Florida, nothing is stopping these municipalities' leaders from wasting taxpayers' money on virtue signaling.

Watch small towns and townships, even if they're Republican-led

As we reported back in February, RINO-led Cincinnati suburb Norwood took its shot at gun owners with an ordinance calling for the destruction of surplus firearms.

The city council in January voted 6-1 to approve an ordinance that keeps the city from participating in any sale or auction of firearms.

Council members Emily Franzen, Susan Hoover, Alexis Royse, Candace Winterbauer and Erick Thompson, all Democrats, voted in favor, as did Republican Chris Kelsch.

Council member John Breadon, also a Republican, cast the only vote against it, calling it for what it was — "a symbolic gesture."

Republican Mayor Victor Schneider joined the anti-gun chorus, using his disdain for firearms as an introduction to a city-sponsored safety class on how to react to seeing a pistol on someone's coffee table.

Councilman Beardon was the lone voice of reason and issued an reminder that elections have consequences:

If you are out there and you are like-minded like myself that really think that the Constitution is important and that our right to bear arms shall not be infringed upon — and that's exactly what it says — and I feel like that's what's happening. … I couldn't tell … if this was a gun haters club or if this was a gun safety. I couldn't really tell.

He reminded those who value the Second Amendment that 2023 was a hyperlocal election year, offering to help them make a difference.

School boards limited in power, but vocal

Ohio's public school boards are limited in what they can accomplish, as they must abide by state laws rather than municipal authority. But that doesn't stop them from enacting "zero tolerance" rules on weapons and so-called lookalike weapons (e.g., cardboard cut into the shape of a handgun). And don't expect many of them to allow teachers and school staff to carry firearms under a new state law that went into effect in September via House Bill 99. But you can count on many of them to issue resolutions calling for the Ohio General Assembly to push gun control measures.

Pay attention to agendas

All supporters of the Second Amendment should keep an eye on meeting agendas for their councils, school boards, and trustees. You have a right to know what they're going to discuss, per Ohio's Open Meetings Act (sunshine laws). Buckeye Firearms Association is counting on you to pay attention to your local government and help us hold them accountable. Not all municipalities' websites are the same, but generally speaking, start with your town's website and search for "council" and/or "agenda" and go from there.

Don't assume their only goal is to fix roads and improve curricula.

If you suspect your elected officials are up to no good when it comes to gun rights, please let us know by sending us a message online at

One thing has become clear: They will stop at nothing until they get their way, and they know an armed society defends a free society.

We must remain one.

Joe D. "Buck" Ruth is a longtime small-game hunter and gun owner who spent nearly three decades in the news industry.

Help us fight for your rights!

Become a member of Buckeye Firearms Association and support our grassroots efforts to defend and advance YOUR RIGHTS!

Subscribe to our FREE Newsletter

Get weekly news and instant alerts on the latest laws and politics that affect your gun rights. Enjoy cutting-edge commentary. Be among the first to hear about gun raffles, firearms training, and special events. Read more.

We respect your privacy and your email address will be kept confidential.


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.