Ohio Supreme Court Unanimously Affirms OFCC Position on TELs

Court says statement of imminent danger sufficient when applying for temporary emergency concealed handgun license

(The following press release has been circulated to media via US Newswire)

Cleveland - November 17th, 2004 - The Ohio Supreme Court ruled today (Lee
v. Karnes, Sheriff - 2004-Ohio-5718
[.pdf]) that an applicant for a temporary
emergency license (TEL) to carry a concealed firearm, "…requires only an
applicant’s sworn statement made under threat of perjury that 'the person
has reasonable cause to fear a criminal attack upon the person or a member
of the person’s family, such as would justify a prudent person in going armed.' It does not require underlying facts to support the sworn statement."

This is a huge victory for potential victims. Should someone such as an
estranged wife or person in fear of criminal attack find themselves needing
to carry a firearm to defend themselves against a threat, they can obtain a
TEL the way the legislature intended.

The TEL was designed to replace the former affirmative defense provisions
that allowed gun owners to carry a firearm for self-defense without seeking
prior permission from government officials.

"Some of Ohio's county Sheriffs have wrongly refused to issue a TEL to a
person in need, demanding proof that they had no right to request." said
Jeff Garvas, President Ohioans for Concealed Carry. (OFCC) "Today’s
ruling should end that injustice and cause all Sheriffs to uniformly comply
with the law statewide."

The court denied the writ of mandamus only because the plaintiff had other
legal methods to appeal the denial. They stated, "Sheriff Karnes erred in
denying Lee’s TEL application for lack of sufficient evidence of imminent

"Ohioans for Concealed Carry has always believed that a sworn affidavit and
accompanying instant background check is all that is required for issuance
of a TEL," said Ken Hanson. "We are pleased that the Supreme Court has unanimously agreed with our interpretation and we now have a statewide standard."

This ruling applies to sheriffs in all 88 Ohio Counties. Attorney Ken Hanson is OFCC's General Council and also represented the plaintiff, Josephine Lee, in this case before the Ohio Supreme Court.

Related Stories:
Temporary Emergency License system in need of attention

Franklin Co. Resident Files Merit Brief with Ohio Supreme Court

Ohio Supreme Court to hear lawsuit against Franklin Co. Sheriff Karnes

Franklin Co. resident files suit against Sheriff Jim Karnes

Franklin Co. Sheriff needs help with the definition of ''OR''

Click here to read coverage from the Association Press, or click on the "Read More..." link below for an archived version.

Court: Fear of imminent danger sufficient for gun application
11/17/2004, 10:51 a.m. ET
The Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohioans applying for a permit to carry a concealed weapon do not have to provide specific evidence of a threat against them, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

The court's unanimous decision said a sworn statement showing fear of imminent danger is sufficient when applying for a concealed carry permit, because it's clear that Ohio's newly enacted concealed carry law did not require more evidence.

Because lawmakers did not include "a requirement of descriptive facts" in the concealed carry law, "we will not infer one," the court said.

The court's decision came as it denied a request by a Franklin County woman to force the Franklin County Sheriff's Department to accept her application.

Josephine Lee asked the court to intervene after Sheriff Jim Karnes denied her application on the grounds she didn't submit enough evidence about any danger she faced.

The Supreme Court said Karnes made a mistake in denying Lee's application over the evidence issue. But the court said Lee had other avenues for appealing the denial.

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