Tony Gordon Fund moved from bank on Do Not Patronize While Armed list

OFCC also announces move of corporate account to bank more friendly to self-defense rights

Ohioans For Concealed Carry has announced that it is moving the Tony Gordon Memorial Fund, as well as OFCC's own corporate bank accounts, to banks which do not restrict Ohioans' constitutional right to bear arms for self-defense.

At the preference of his family, the Tony Gordon Memorial Fund was created at Fifth Third bank last year, to benefit the 2 year-old daughter and 13-year old nephew of Dayton's James A. "Tony" Gordon. Tony, 27, died on Wednesday, August 6, 2003 after being shot during an attempted carjacking.

Although OFCC advocates on behalf of all victims of crime, what brought the organization special concern in Tony's case was the manner in which he was victimized. According to Lt. John Huber, Dayton Police department, Tony was killed while trying to "drive away" from his attacker "and was shot for it." For months prior to Tony's tragic death, Ohio State Highway Patrol bureaucrats had been emailing concerned citizens, stating that "the fundamental nature of a motor vehicle" allows persons who are victimized to "drive away from an attacker."

There was a second reason for which Tony's victimization deserved special attention: his 13-year-old nephew was a passenger in the car. At the time Tony was attacked, Ohio concealed carry had been stalled for months because Gov. Bob Taft was insisting that any concealed carry bill he sign include a lockbox provision, which would force persons in vehicles with minor occupants to lock up their firearms, and render them useless in the event of an attack. That provision was eventually defeated.

Unfortunately for Fifth Third bank's Ohio customers, the corporation has recently issued an order for discriminatory signs be posted in all Ohio branches barring concealed handgun license-holders. Not only does this make it difficult for many people to contribute to Tony's fund, but it also requires that they risk entry into a defenseless victim zone in order to do so. The Tony Gordon Memorial Fund is being moved to Bank One, which does not post discriminatory signs.

"As we approach the one year anniversary of the loss of Tony, it is a slap in the face for his family to see these signs, especially when their customer service personnel admit they are not posted at Fifth Third in other concealed carry states," said Chad Baus, OFCC spokesperson. "Concealed carry was illegal when Tony was shot, and the Gordons know, tragically more than most, that gun prohibitions do not prevent crime."

Tony's killers have never been found, and the Gordon family have been disappointed by the lack of media coverage given his memorial fund. "Maybe if we'd have come out blaming the guns, Dayton's newspapers and television stations would have been more willing to talk about it," said Tony's mother, Phyllis. The Gordons participated in several open carry 'Defense' Walks last year, which have been credited for motivating the legislature to act in the wake of a mixed Supreme Court ruling on the subject.

OFCC also announced that it has moved its corporate bank accounts from First Merit bank, which posts "no-guns" signs, to National City Bank.

"According to the FBI, Ohio has one of the highest bank robbery rates in the nation. The Ohio Banker's League is distributing instructions on how banks can ban CHL-holders. But does anyone think bank robbers will honor the signs?", OFCC President Jeff Garvas asked rhetorically. "Already in Ohio, at least ten different bank robberies have occurred when a robber walked right past Fifth Third and First Merit "no-guns" signs to commit their crimes."

To date, at least 11 major national chains and more than 100 other businesses (including several banks) have removed their signs and opened their doors to Ohio Concealed Handgun License-holders.

Checks should be made out to "Phyllis Jean Gordon, Dayton, Ohio" and may be deposited at any Bank One location, mailed to: Bank One, 260 East Dayton-Yellow Springs Road, Dayton, OH 45324. To make a secure online donation, please visit and click on Tony's picture.

Anyone with information about Tony's murder is asked to call Dayton police at 333-COPS or Sgt. Gary White at 333-1190.

UPDATE! This story was picked up on August 9 by three Green County daily newspapers.

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