Man plans to test gun ban in Toledo parks

The Toledo Blade is reporting* that a Toledo-area man is planning to test the city's ban on firearms in parks by hosting a gathering at Toledo's Ottawa Park to celebrate the first anniversary party of Ohio's concealed-carry law at noon April 9, while carrying his 45-caliber semi-automatic handgun in violation of the city's ban on guns in its parks.

From the story:

    April 8 marks the first anniversary of Ohio's concealed-carry law, and [Bruce] Beatty is hoping for a legal show-down. Under the law, Ohio sheriffs shall issue permits to qualifying citizens who wish to carry a concealed firearm.

    Since the law passed, several cities, including Toledo, have issued orders or passed ordinances restricting guns on public properties, such as parks. Private employers have the right under the law to restrict guns on their premises by posting signs notifying employees and the public.

    But a spokesman for Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro's office last year said such local policies appear to be in conflict with the state's concealed-carry law and therefore were not valid. In fact, some cities have rescinded their orders restricting guns in public areas.

The story goes on to say that the City is contemplating ways to stop Beatty's event. One suggestion raised is to deny a permit to gather at the park.

Again, from the story:

    Mr. Beatty, who has ordered a sheet cake in the shape of a 45-caliber handgun, said he's not daunted because he believes he has Ohio law on his side.

    "Bottom line is this: I'm starting to take it extremely personally that politicians and bureaucrats keep comparing law-abiding, tax-paying, good citizens to criminals," he said. "I'm tired of being slandered over the issue."

*WARNING - this Toledo Blade story contains a factual error. In her story, reporter Robin Erb states that Attorney General Jim Petro is backing the City of Clyde in a lawsuit brought by Ohioans For Concealed Carry.

But as regular readers of this website will recall, Petro actually filed a motion to intervene in our lawsuit against the City of Clyde after the city argued Ohio's concealed handgun license law is unconstitutional. Petro argues AGAINST the city - stating that the law is constitutional in all respects.

Click here to read OFCC's coverage of Petro's filing, and to download Petro's actual court documents.

OFCC has sent a request for a retraction to Ms. Erb. Additionally, Attorney General Petro's spokesperson, Kim Norris, has told OFCC today that she has also contacted Ms. Erb to ask for an immediate correction to be made.

UPDATE: The Toledo Blade has corrected its online story, and has confirmed with OFCC that a correction will be published in tomorrow's print edition.

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