Go-it-alone: Financially-challenged City of Cleveland sues over preemption

Today the City of Cleveland filed a declaratory judgment against the State of Ohio to fight the enactment of Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Section 9.68. Click here to download the press release. (.pdf)

    ORC Section 9.68: "(A) The individual right to keep and bear arms,being a fundamental individual right that predates the United States Constitution and Ohio Constitution, and being a constitutionally protected right in every part of Ohio, the general assembly finds the need to provide uniform laws throughout the state regulating the ownership, possession, purchase, other acquisition, transport, storage, carrying, sale, or other transfer of firearms, their components, and their ammunition."

This preemption provision enacted in HB347 allows law abiding gun owners to travel throughout Ohio without concern of violating the previous patchwork of ordinances enacted by various cities. HB347 effectively put the battle back where it belongs, between the city attorneys and the state legislature.

Following is the Buckeye Firearms Association Response to Cleveland Announcing Lawsuit Against HB347.

Buckeye Firearms Association Response to Cleveland Announcing Lawsuit Against HB347

It is with mild chagrin, but not surprise, that Buckeye Firearms Association learned that the City of Cleveland will be squandering tax payer funds in a doomed attempt to challenge the preemption provisions of HB347.

Gun owners will recall that a lawsuit was filed in the Ohio Supreme Court against Cuyahoga County Sheriff Gerald McFaul for refusing to take concealed carry applications. In that case, the result was the Sheriff had to accept the applications and pay court costs and attorney fees.

Being unable to address the staggering unemployment problem they are facing, and having already admitted that Cleveland cannot even prosecute the criminals they currently have charged*, Cleveland is attempting some slight of hand to divert attention from their very real crime problems.

“While it is a shame that Cleveland is wasting scarce tax dollars on this case that is doomed to fail in the end, it does show that one important aspect of preemption is working” noted Buckeye Firearms Association chairman Jim Irvine. “Previously, under HB12, when we talked to cities like Cleveland, their response was obstinate indifference. ‘Sue us, it won’t cost anything.’ Cleveland realizes that the mandatory attorney fee provision has shifted the burden to the city to fight the Ohio Attorney General. This is an early victory for gun owners.”

“We challenge every media outlet to do a public records request to Cleveland, requesting copies of all criminal complaints where someone who has used a gun in a crime has been charged with one of these local ordinances.” State Ken Hanson Esq., Legislative Chair for Buckeye Firearms Association. “What the media will find is that these ordinances are not used to punish criminals committing crimes with guns, ever. The claims of ‘for the safety of the children’ is a sham sugar coating attempting to make their anti-gun stance more palatable. Gun control disarms victims, not criminals.

*Cleveland Municipal Court previously announced they would be waiving bail for some 25,000 criminal defendants with outstanding warrant if the scofflaw would appear at a police station and turn in a gun. Each person who would turn in a gun under such a program was committing a felony for even possessing the gun.

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