Municipalities continue to be upset with Ohio Supreme Court over gun rights

By Tim Inwood

An old friend of mine, who is on the city council in my hometown, has given me the February 2009 copy of Risky Business, a newsletter put out by the Miami Valley Risk Management Association. He was concerned over comments made on the second page.

Though the article is subtle, it is clearly an advocacy piece about a ruling with which they are unhappy. MVRMA seems to be bothered that the Ohio Supreme Court found for the citizens of Ohio in their desire to exercise their right to keep arms for self-defense, and not for home rule by the cities. They specifically cite the lawsuit against the city of Clyde, and the ruling rendered on September 18, 2008. The 4-3 decision held the city's ordinance barring licensed gun owners from carrying their handguns in city parks was unconstitutional, as it is an "exercise of municipality's police power that conflicts with a general law."

They then discuss the various lower court rulings, but I shall not bore you with the details. They conclude with the views of Justices Moyer, Lanzinger and Pfeifer in the minority dissent in the final ruling by the Ohio Supreme Court.

They view ORC 2923.126 as not being "'general law' (as it arbitrarily treats private and public property owners differently in regards to their ability to prevent concealed handguns on their property) and that because the Clyde ordinance is therefore not in direct contradiction to a 'general law,' the ordinance was constitutional."

MVRMA concludes "This ruling provides insight as to the current Court's majority view on concealed handguns, but the narrow victory for OCCI (sic) likewise indicates that a seat change in the Court could result in more favorable rulings for municipalities."

MVRMA is an organization that assesses risks for cities and gives them advice based on their views. The tone of the article indicates they are opposed to the ruling, as they apparently view our ability to carry firearms as a liability. I can tell you from my own personal battles with my hometown, many cities view an armed populace with the same unfounded concerns.

As we approach the next election season, please remember that many of the leaders in several cities in Ohio will be targeting the members of the State Supreme Court who found for you, the citizens of Ohio, and your right to bear arms for your security and defense. Vote according to your rights, my friends.

Tim Inwood is the current Legislative Liaison and Past President of the Clinton County Farmers and Sportsmen Association, an Endowment Member of the NRA and Life Member of the OGCA, Republican Central Committeeman for Chester Township A, in Clinton County, Ohio, and a volunteer for Buckeye Firearms Association.

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