Latest round of motions filed in OFCC Inc. v City of Clyde
On Friday, attorneys for Ohioans For Concealed Carry, and (separately) for Attorney General Jim Petro, filed additional Motions in Ohioans For Concealed Carry, Inc. v City of Clyde. The Motions, which can be downloaded from links at the end of this story, mark another stage in written arguments, and put the case on a time-line for a ruling in mid-July.
The Fremont News Messenger is reporting on the developments with a simple headline: "Petro: Clyde is wrong".
From the story:
- Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro says Clyde's interpretation of state law on concealed weapons in parks is wrong.
In a brief filed Friday in a court case, Petro argued that if Clyde is allowed to ban weapons in its parks, it could set a precedent that would render the state's concealed-carry laws useless.
Petro's brief said Clyde was misinterpreting the law.
"Concealed carry is meaningless if citizens cannot carry on public sidewalks and streets," it said.
If Clyde's law is upheld, it said, "then the City of Clyde would also have the ability to prohibit concealed carry anywhere within its borders."
That would defeat the whole purpose of the law, the brief said.
In its court-filed response to the OFCC lawsuit, the City of Clyde argued that its land should be treated the same as private property, whose owners have the right to restrict weapons. Thus, Clyde argues, the law isn't enforced the same way everywhere and the city should be able to restrict use.
Again, from the story:
- The last arguments will be heard in two weeks. Ken Hanson, attorney representing Ohioans for Concealed Carry, said he hoped a decision could come by mid-July.
In a motion filed last month, Barry Bova, the attorney representing the city of Clyde, argued that as a local charter government the city has a legal right to create laws to protect its residents. He cited other cases in which local government ordinances were accepted by courts as exceptions to state law.
Bova was in court Friday and could not be reached for comment.
Petro's brief said that Clyde's arguments only focus on a small section of the state's concealed-carry law and that when taken as a whole, the concealed-carry laws are general laws that supercede any conflicting city ordinances.
"If every municipality in Ohio were permitted to enforce its own unique concealed carry laws, licensed carriers will less likely be on notice of the restrictions, which will impair the State of Ohio's licensing scheme and create a threat of arrest for citizens duly licensed under the law," Petro argues in the brief.
In his motion Friday, Hanson likened Bova's argument to a free speech case. While a private citizen can prevent someone from making a speech on private property, governments are not afforded the same right, he said. Therefore, he argued, while private citizens can prevent concealed-carry owners from entering their property, Clyde cannot.
"There's nothing in the case that says that government property owners have to be treated the same as private property owners," he said. "Governments don't have rights. Citizens have rights."
Click here to download and read OFCC's Response to Clyde's Motion for Summary Judgement in .pdf format.
Click here to download and read Attorney General Jim Petro's Memo in Opposition to Clyde's Motion for Summary Judgement in .pdf format.
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Attorney General Jim Petro Defends Concealed Carry Law