Public officials' rush to ban CHL-holders could be illegal
URGENT UPDATE! Local Village Attempting Open Carry Ban (NE Ohio)
by Chad D. Baus
Some public officials may be guilty of violating Ohio's new concealed carry law before it even takes effect.
On February 2, the Akron Beacon Journal reported that Summit County Executive James McCarthy issued an executive order "prohibiting guns in all county buildings and vehicles and on county property."
On February 12, the Delphos Herald reported that the Delphos liberary Board of Trustees "passed a resolution stating the library does not permit weapons of any kind, either concealed or in plain view, on its property or in its buildings, unless the owner of the weapon is a law enforcement officer."
These officials may be guilty of violating Ohio law, or even the Ohio Constitution, as interpreted by the recent Ohio Supreme Court ruling. Consider Section 9 of the Act (House Bill 12), which states as follows:
- The General Assembly finds that licenses to carry concealed handguns are a matter of statewide concern and wishes to ensure uniformity throughout the state regarding the qualifications for a person to hold a license to carry a concealed handgun and the authority granted to a person holding a license of that nature. It is the intent of the General Assembly in amending sections 1547.69, 2911.21, 2921.13, 2923.12, 2923.121, 2923.123, 2923.16, 2953.32, and 4749.10 and enacting sections 109.69, 109.731, 311.41, 311.42, and 2923.124 to 2923.1213 of the Revised Code to enact laws of a general nature, and, by enacting those laws of a general nature, the state occupies and preempts the field of issuing licenses to carry a concealed handgun and the validity of licenses of that nature. No municipal corporation may adopt or continue in existence any ordinance, and no township may adopt or continue in existence any resolution, that is in conflict with those sections, including, but not limited to, any ordinance or resolution that attempts to restrict the places where a person possessing a valid license to carry a concealed handgun may carry a handgun concealed. (emphasis added)
Under 2923.126, CHL-holders are prohibited from carrying weapons in state, county, or municipal buildings only. County property is not included under HB12, and to extend the ban beyond the building walls is a direct violation of Section 9. Furthermore, openly carrying firearms is still legal in our state. An outright ban of firearms in these locations may also be in violation of the state Constitution.
Ohioans For Concealed Carry is already in consulations with an attorney on these matters. This should serve as fair notice to other city officials considering the possibility of enacting similar rules in their towns - OFCC will consider any attempts to preempt state's new CHL law with utmost seriousness.
The alert below was written a few days ago. This week Ohioans For Concealed Carry made contact with Mayor Rinker's office and attempted to discuss this issue with him by telephone.
Our calls were NOT returned by the Mayor, yet his secretary confirmed that he would call us back. Therefore, we believe action is being taken.
Since we have not heard from the Mayor, and since this illegal ordinance may be voted on MONDAY night, we need your support if you are available.
Northeast Ohio Supporters:
WE NEED YOUR HELP
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 16th, 2004 - 8:00PM
Mayfield Village Council Meeting
(Wear your OFCC shirts, or business casual)
Ohioans For Concealed Carry has learned that the Village of Mayfield (read: not Mayfield Heights, Mayfield Village) has considered and proposed an ordinance (2004-06) that would PROHIBIT carrying firearms "while at or about a public place" -- (Introduced by Mayor Rinker and Council as a whole)
The proposal includes all firearms, handguns, shotguns, rifles, karate sticks, brass knuckles, blackjacks, billyclubs, switchblade knives and "other weapons".
OFCC was a party in the Klein v. Leis lawsuit, in which the Ohio Supreme Court majority concluded that your rights under the Ohio Constitution to bear firearms for your "defense and security" are met by the fact that Ohio law does not prohibit openly carrying a firearm.
PROHIBITING OPEN CARRY WOULD BE AN UNCONSTITUTIONAL TOTAL PROHIBITION
During oral arguments in the case before the Ohio Supreme Court, Justices asked our lawyers relentlessly about this issue. Their ruling makes it perfectly clear:
The mere fact that you can carry a firearm openly without infringement is the reason they ruled that concealed carry prohibitions and restrictions are not unconstitutional.
What the City Council, Mayor, and Chief of Police in Mayfield Village have proposed is an unconstitutional attack on the rights of Ohioans to carry firearms in the open -- without reason to enact such a law.
In a recent Sun Newspapers story, Police Chief Patrick Dearden said "Right now, we have nothing in place to stop people from carrying weapons openly."
Dearden has provided absolutely no evidence that such a law is necessary, since openly carrying a firearm has been legal for years.
In fact, banning the open carry of a firearm means potential arrests when a concealed carry license holder exits or enters a vehicle and attempts to comply with the "plain sight" requirements of the concealed carry law.
The ordinance would subject those individuals who carry concealed to possible arrest and first degree misdemeanor charges if a concealed firearm became visible. A conviction could result in six months in jail, a $1000 fine, and CONFISCATION of your firearm.
"It is going to be reviewed by the chief and law director to see if any changes should be made," Mayor Bruce Rinker said. "It is the age-old question if we should regulate carrying guns." (Source: Sun News)
Obviously, this "age-old debate" has been decided by the Ohio Supreme Court, and should the city enact this proposed ordinance it will be in violation of the Ohio Constitution and the intent of the Supreme Court.
YOUR HELP IS NEEDED, EVEN IF YOU DO NOT FEEL COMFORTABLE SPEAKING. IF YOU ARE ANYWHERE NEAR CUYAHOGA COUNTY WE NEED YOU TO ATTEND THIS HEARING AND HELP US SHOW OUR OPPOSITION TO THIS UNCONSTITUTIONAL EFFORT IN FORCE.
Please realize that those of you who work during the day CAN make THIS meeting, as it is scheduled for 8:00pm Monday evening during the regular council meeting.
NOTE: Please do not call the city, elected officials, or the Mayor and relay your displeasure without being completely professional. Your presence at the city council meeting, preferably with an OFCC shirt or business casual dress, will help us tremendously. NO camo or hunter orange, please.
Details, Directions, Maps:
6621 Wilson Mills Road
Mayfield Village, OH 44143-3499
Mayfield Village is east of I-271 and north of I-480, among the east
side suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio.
Take I-271 to Wilson Mills Road and travel east. (At the bottom of the
ramp: A right turn when heading North, a left turn when heading South)
The Village Hall is on Wilson Mills Road right before Som Center Road.
A map can be found by
ARE YOU COMING?
Please send us a message if you can make it, indicating how many people you will be bringing with you. Send those messages to Our Feedback Form with a subject of "Mayfield Village Gun Control" and realize that we won't have time to respond before Monday's meeting. Help us gauge turn out!
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