LTE: Appeals court ruling sets bad precedent

September 26, 2006
Toledo Blade

Recently the 6th District Court of Appeals ruled in a 2-1 decision that the Ohio state law licensing qualified persons to carry a concealed firearm is not a "general law."

This potentially allows local governments to apply arbitrary restrictions to that state-issued license.

Judge Dennis Parish, who voted against the ruling, was quoted in The Blade as saying "If [the statute] is not a general law, then dozens if not hundreds of other state statutes are also not general laws," and "will serve only to promote uncertainty in the law."

Ohio lawmakers also passed the "Better Ohio Bicycle law," the intent of which is to standardize traffic rules and to restrict municipalities from making local laws to restrict bicycling.

What is to prevent communities from modifying the bicycle law based on the appellate court's ruling on the state concealed-carry law?

If that happens then the bicycle law which so many have looked forward to is rendered ineffective.

What is to prevent municipalities from applying the court ruling to other state licenses? Suppose a municipality wished to restrict persons under 18 or over 65 from driving within their borders.

Imagine driving into a community and being fined for violating such an ill-conceived law. Imagine the income a trap like that could generate for a municipality (at your expense, of course).

It seems to me that the 6th District ruling, if allowed to stand, sets a dangerous precedent which could allow for many areas of abuse.

It is also disturbing that the appellate court can have such an impact on a state statute ("if not hundreds of other state statutes") that was written, researched, debated, and voted into law by our state legislators.

James W. Fenn

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