Mentel Ban Update: Mikey finds a reason to oppose home rule

By Chad D. Baus

Municipal bureaucrats who oppose HB347's firearms law preemption provision, which will ensure that firearms laws are uniform across Ohio, do so under the complaint that such a law would tamper with Ohio's home rule provision.

In spring 2004, Columbus' Mayor stood in a city park the day Ohio's concealed carry law became active and railed against the law because it disallows cities to ban guns in parks. The City of Toledo went ahead and banned guns on its secluded jogging trails in defiance of the law.

Last year, Columbus councilman Mike Mentel saw to it that his city lost an estimated $20 million in convention revenue with passage of his useless "assault weapons" ban, which is, as we predicted, failing to prevent crimes on Columbus' streets.

The Mentel Ban is the exact type of ordinance which HB347 would prevent, which is why the bill provokes such a howl from anti-gun bureaucrats hiding behind a concern for erosion of home rule.

Proof that home rule isn't the real motivation of concern for people like Mike Mentel came in the form of a news story published by 610 WTVN last week...

Cities vs. Guns

A loosely knit coalition of cities from New York and Boston to San Diego and Santa Barbara has been formed to combat illegal weapons now includes Columbus.

For now, says Columbus City Council Safety Chair Mike Mentel, the object is just to get cities working together in a bipartisan effort to get federal help in enforcing each city's existing statutes.

And those statutes do vary, from New York's ban on virtually all firearms except under special circumstances to Columbus' limited ban on those defined as assault weapons and all restrictions in between.

Ultimately, says Mentel, the goal is a nationwide standard backed by federal authority to protect citizens and police. He voiced no preference for which city's policy would be adopted as the national norm.

Got that? Mike Mentel and his ilk are now on record as being for home rule, unless of course the higher law bans guns. In that case, they will be perfectly happy to have their precious home rule eroded by a state or national gun ban. If they were at all consistent about their support for home rule, then they would favor cities allowing private ownership of any type of firearms despite a national ban.

Ohio is one of only four states that still cling to "home rule", giving local municipalities the impression they can trump state law. How long will Ohio lag behind the rest of the country? The time has come for Ohio to pass some truly sensible firearms laws. The Ohio Senate should convene in August to address this problem by passing HB347.

URGENT: Click here to write your elected officials about this crucial legislation.

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