Miami Twp. trustees vote to lift gun ban in parks

The Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that trustees in Hamilton County's Miami Twp. voted Tuesday to remove a "no-guns" sign.

Such signs at each of the five developed parks in this Clermont County township will be replaced. And anybody who wants to carry a gun openly in a park - or has a permit to carry a concealed weapon - will no longer have to worry about facing a fine of up to $100 for a first offense.

The ban on guns conflicts with Ohio law, trustees were told Monday by the township's Police Chief R. Steven Bailey.

Park rules that date to 1990 will be revised to remove the ban.

The newspaper reports that the township's law director, John Korfhagen, advised trustees Tuesday that failure to lift the ban on guns in parks might result in a suit. Tax money might have to be used to pay for a test case.

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Again, from the Enquirer:

According to a 2005 opinion by Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro, guns may be prohibited inside public buildings - but not on surrounding public property.

Trustees also voted unanimously Tuesday to put signs banning guns on park buildings, including restrooms. Korfhagen advised them it didn't appear the township could ban guns in shelter houses with picnic tables, which require building permits but lack walls.

Township Administrator David D. Duckworth said Tuesday that he had been contacted by a half-dozen people in recent weeks complaining about the signs and rules on guns at parks.

One of those was Collin Rink, a Madeira resident who is Cincinnati region leader for the Buckeye Firearms Association, a Cleveland-based political action committee. He co-owns Fenton-Rink Security Training.

"Ohio law is very clear" that townships can't regulate guns, Rink said Monday. "Section 9 of that bill specifically says they can't do this."

Rink said he was referring to carrying guns for self-defense.

Residents have every legal and ethical right to exercise their right to self-defense in Ohio's secluded parks and jogging trails. Unfortunately, there are still public places where Ohio law is not being recognized by elected officials.

The Ohio House overwhelmingly passed legislation which would ensure uniformity of Ohio gun laws. Even the anti-gun Cleveland Plain Dealer editorial board has endorsed the notion of statewide preemption of gun laws. There is simply no reason for which HB347 should be held up by Republican Senate President Bill Harris any longer.

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