Gross Negligence: Ohio State Highway Patrol bureaucrats respond to pro-CCW email
The Buckeye State Sheriffs Association and Ohio Fraternal Order of Police are calling on the Ohio State Highway Patrol to come to the table to explain why they continue to endorse Taft's unsafe "Carjacker protection" language in HB12. Ohioans For Concealed Carry has learned that the OSHP is hearing from more than just these two major law enforcement groups.
The OSHP is beginning to feel the effects of intense grassroots desire to restore Ohioans' right to self-defense. Copies of an OSHP form letter - which is being sent to all who email the OSHP about this issue - are flooding in to OFCC's email box from recipients who can't believe what they're reading.
Is it possible Senate President White DID believe what he was reading when OSHP Superintendant Paul McClellan sent this exact letter, word for word, to his office on March 5, 2003?
Click on the "Read More..." link below to view the form letter, and you'll know why its time to switch from email to phone calls (1-877-7-PATROL).
Commentary inserted in blue.
----- Original Message -----
To: (Anyone Who Emails Us About HB12)
Subject: Re: HB 12
There are two elements of most concealed weapon legislation: the right to carry a loaded gun and the right to conceal that gun. The Ohio State Highway Patrol has opposed previous concealed weapon legislation because of the element of loaded weapon concealment within motor vehicles. There is no statistical or anecdotal evidence which supports that concealment and transportation of a weapon in a motor vehicle is effective or safe as a defensive or deterrent measure. Conversely, there is significant statistical evidence that carrying loaded firearms in motor vehicles is a catalyst for the loss of life; for both law enforcement and civilians.
With a lack of empirically significant studies, the alleged cause and effect link between concealed gun legislation and crime rates is tenuous at best. In fact, no legitimate organization has made empirically-based claims of cause and effect between lower crime rates and concealed weapon legislation. Instead, the two are mentioned together and a cause and effect inference made. Comparatively, anti-concealed weapon groups also lack strong empirical evidence refuting any benefits of overall concealed weapon legislation. In essence, there is not strong empirical evidence to support either side of this issue.
The OSHP has NEVER produced their "significant statistical evidence" that CCW in cars is life-threatening. The reason - no such evidence exists. As we reported in "What Senate leaders, Bob Taft and OSHP bureaucrats don't want you to know", a large number of states allow loaded handguns in vehicles even WITHOUT a concealed carry license.
As for the OSHP's claims that there "is no statistical or anecdotal evidence which supports [CCW] in a motor vehicle is effective or safe as a defensive or deterrent measure":
• While scholars can debate over the statistical methodologies used to evaluate how much violent crime goes down after CCW laws are passed, the general finding (even from anti-gun extremists) is that crime DOES go down.
• The OSHP claim that there is no anecdotal evidence suporting merits of CCW in vehicles is ludicrous. To repeatedly make this false statement - before Senators, Representatives, in the media and in letters to taxpayers - throws any remaining credibility right out the window, and should negate their place at the negotiating table.
If this statement was true, then an OSHP trooper could, potentially, be charged with perjury for his testimony in the Hamilton County CCW Ban constitutionality case which is currently before the Ohio Supreme Court (see: Open Letter to OSHP Superintendant Paul McClellan: You Can't Have it Both Ways).
However, there are strong cases for limiting where concealed weapons should be allowed. For example, tragic school shootings, courthouse massacres, liquor establishment murders, have prompted bans on locations where concealed weapons are allowed, even in states where licenses are issued. Particularly with incidents of road rage, increasing traffic congestion, the increasing pace of society, and high emotions on our highways, there is ample evidence why concealed weapons should not be allowed in motor vehicles.
What the OSHP fails to mention in their examples is that the majority of "tragic school shootings, courthouse massacres, liquor establishment murders" and other multiple victim public shootings occur in states where CCW is still banned or greatly restricted. Since every driver on the road is wielding a 3000 pound deadly weapon (see: Why isn't the OSHP lobbying to get CARS off the highways?), the predictions about road rage being increased by HB12 are hollow. Incidents of license-holders being involved are rare to non-existent in other states.
Because the fundamental nature of motor vehicles allows those who feel threatened to simply drive away, the argument that motorists need loaded concealed weapons is weak. Law enforcement officers, however, do not have the option of driving away. Unfortunately for dozens of officers each year, concealed weapons in a vehicle prove deadly. Despite attempts to paint those who kill officers as career criminals, the fact is that not all who killed officers last year would have been prohibited from carrying a concealed weapon. If these people are, in a fit of rage, willing to shoot police officers, they certainly will not hesitate to kill those they confront on our roadways. New legislation normally addresses a problem, either existing or potential. Fortunately, in part due to the efforts of Ohio's law enforcement officers, Ohio has not experienced an epidemic which would dictate loading our vehicles with concealed guns.
Perhaps the fact that the OSHP is much more familiar with general traffic laws than violent crimes (see: OSHP Activity Summary 1995-2002) gives reason for such ignorance of what is going on in our state. Then again, they could always read the newspaper:
The "fundamental nature of a motor vehicle" did not allow Tony Gordon to "drive away" when attacked by a carjacker. Nor did it protect Ohioans like Antonio Ward, Jessie Mooneyham, Darius Thomas, Dana Oldham, or a large number of others from victimization this year. The OSHP is guilty of extreme negligence in advocating this strategy as Ohioans' only means of self-protection.
Ohio Revised Code 2923.16 states, "No person shall knowingly transport or have a firearm in a motor vehicle, unless it is unloaded, and is carried in one of the following ways:
(1) In a closed package, box, or case;
(2) In a compartment which can be reached only by leaving the vehicle;
(3) In plain sight and secured in a rack or holder made for the purpose;
(4) In plain sight with the action open or the weapon stripped, or, if the firearm is of a type on which the action will not stay open or which cannot easily be stripped, in plain sight."
It is the Patrol's position that any modification of this statute is not only unnecessary, but also unwise.
It is the position of the Buckeye State Sheriffs Association and Ohio Fraternal Order of Police that the Patrol's position in this matter is what is entirely unsafe.
The men and women of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, their loved ones, and law enforcement supporters stand together in strong opposition to allowing concealed weapons in motor vehicles.
...Except for all the troopers who have signed the OFCC petition calling on the General Assembly to pass concealed carry reform, that is.