Cleveland officials should take a lesson from the City of New Philadelphia on gun rights
By Chad D. Baus
Even as the City of Cleveland continues to enforce its local gun control laws and waste tax payer money to fight state law prohibiting same in court, the City of New Philadelphia, OH is taking another route entirely.
Ohio R.C 9.68 - which became law in 2007 with passage of HB347 - preempts local gun control and ensure statewide uniformity of gun laws. When it became state law, Mayor Frank Jackson and the City of Cleveland decided to challenge the law in court, and continue to enforce its illegal gun control ordinances despite assurances to the contrary.
Other cities and municipalities still have ordinances on the books, but announced after the state law passed that they would no longer be enforced.
In one such city, New Philadelphia, the city council is finally considering removing its preempted ordinances at the urging of Police Chief Jeff Urban.
From a story in the (New Philadelphia) Times-Reporter, entitled "Phila may let guns in parks":
While deadly weapons or dangerous ordnance still won't be permitted inside city-owned buildings, a law that prohibits them being carried on city-owned or occupied real estate – such as in city parks or cemeteries – is being reconsidered by New Philadelphia City Council.
Police Chief Jeff Urban said he is an avid proponent of the change. In fact, he brought it to council's attention that the city's current law is unfair to people who have concealed carry weapons permits.
A person having such a permit, Urban said, means they have passed a background check, completed the required schooling and have complied with state rules regarding the carrying of weapons.
"The old (current) ordinance did not let them, for instance, walk into the cemetery to visit their dead mother; wouldn't let them stop and pick up an ice cream cone at the park; wouldn't let them walk down the street in New Philadelphia – it's city-owned property – that's wrong," Urban said.
He explained that the revised ordinance, which council gave a first reading Monday night, is "just complying with what the state of Ohio has in its rules – that you cannot carry the weapon into city-occupied buildings, but other places you are allowed to do so."
Urban told the newspaper he doesn't know how the current ordinance came into effect, "but it was there, I spotted it, we went to the committee, and we're getting it changed."
The chief is quoted as saying that he is a proponent for people with concealed handgun licenses, and "a proponent for people to be able to protect themselves and assist us when necessary, which is exactly what the CCW carries will do."
New Philadelphia resident Kimberly Hobart, concealed carry instructor and frequent winner of national shooting competitions at Camp Perry, OH, has notified Buckeye Firearms Association that she too has contacted New Philadelphia Mayor Mike Taylor about the need to rescind the defunct ordinance.