City officials admit their local gun laws did nothing, whine about preemption

The Elyria Morning Journal is reporting that Elyria city officials "aren't quite sure how the state's new gun legislation will affect their local ordinance banning concealed weapons in city parks, but they're pretty sure it should be Elyrians making those decisions, not Columbus legislators."

From the story:

''This is another case of the state legislature in Columbus thinking that they know better than people in their own communities,'' said Elyria Mayor Bill Grace. ''I think cities should be given that opportunity to do what they feel is in their best interest.''

Law Director Terry Shilling said he hadn't yet gotten a chance to read the bill, and couldn't comment about how it would affect the city's local ban.

''I don't know what the great state legislature of Ohio did, and I do not understand why they did it,'' said Shilling.

He did say the ban could be ''subject to non-validity.''

Amidst the whining, Shilling admitted to the newspaper that Elyria's ban on carrying concealed weapons in city parks, passed by City Council in 2005, doesn't have any penalty or enforcement provision attached to it. And Police Chief Mike Medders said the department hasn't received any complaints or taken any actions to enforce the ban since it was enacted a year ago.

City officials in Dayton are telling a similar story.

In a WHIO-TV report, Dayton city commissioners said relaxing gun laws in the city is exactly what should not be happening, but it will after state lawmakers passed statewide laws that are less restrictive.

Mayor Rhine McLin and city commissioners said they are very upset at state lawmakers for passing a bill that wipes out local gun laws. They said they believe the situation is drastic and that the state is hurting the city and its residents.

But in reading the story, it is plainfully clear the city's gun control laws have done nothing to prevent criminals from victimizing residents:

Commissioners said they do not like what seems to be a trend of increased gunfire, referring to a couple of days ago when shots were fired at the BP station near Salem and Grand avenues, leaving one man shot.

The increased gunfire is frustrating to McLin and the commissioners. They said it is becoming a distraction now that they have to deal with state lawmakers preparing to relax gun laws.

...McLin and the commissioners grilled Police Chief Julian Davis about the department’s reaction to gunfire. He said increased patrols help, but a lot of the gunfire is not easy to stop because “one must remember that the crimes that are occurring are between people who know each other.”

Davis said a recent shooting at a Gettysburg Avenue Pizza Hut involved two people that knew each other, who once worked at the same spot and then brought their fight to the city streets.

...Davis said the city is already eight homicides ahead of last year’s pace, and the mayor worries that relaxing the gun laws would only make those numbers go up.

The same local gun controls laws local officials are now lamenting as critical crime-fighting tools are rarely if ever used to prosecute criminals. According to various news reports, successful prosecutions have come only a handful of times in Toledo and Cincinnati, and never in Columbus or Dayton.

The whining was also recorded in, and was thankfully followed up with a good deal of balance:

"We're trying to get a handle on the homicides and the violent crimes that we've had in our city, and I think any tool that we have that's available to us that will restrict the kinds of weapons that we're talking about would be useful," noted Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory.

However, [Buckeye Firearms Association legislative chairman Ken] Hanson -- who describes himself as "an attorney who litigates firearms and has represented municipalities" -- warned that "taxpayers are not going to be happy if their elected representatives have to pay $50,000 in attorney fees over futile attempts to continue enforcing worthless local ordinances."

"The fact that so many voted for this bill and obtained the first veto override in nearly three decades demonstrates just how out of touch the governor and a few big city mayors really are," said the association's chairman, James Irvine.

"The cold, hard conclusion to be drawn is that Ohioans recognize gun control as the failure it is and understand that there is nothing to fear from trained, law-abiding citizens being armed," Irvine added.

Irvine was also quoted Wednesday in a Gongwer News Service story:

“We are gratified that the General Assembly recognized that Governor Taft and a few mayors were playing politics with important firearm law reforms," said Buckeye Firearms Chairman James Irvine. "We recognize this was a difficult step, but the fact that so many voted for this bill and obtained the first veto override in nearly 3 decades demonstrates just how out of touch the Governor and a few big city mayors really are.”

A Dayton Daily News story inadvertantly noted that a myriad of gun control laws in that city have failed to deter crime:

A spate of recent violence in Dayton, where homicides have jumped from 34 in 2005 to 42 so far in 2006, sparked the discussion among the commissioners at their meeting Wednesday.

Finally from the same Dayton Daily News story:

"People now will have more access to guns," Commissioner Dean Lovelace said.

And with that, we have all the proof we needed that objections to HB347 were never about home rule, but rather that "home rule" was simply used as a code word for "gun control", which anti-gun politicians know is a loser in Ohio.

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