Strickland pardons Ohio man so he can recover his right to bear arms

by Chad D. Baus

The Cincinnati Enquirer and other Ohio media reported recently that Governor Ted Strickland issued pardons to 33 individuals, including one who has testified in support of legislation that would align Ohio law with federal statutes regarding the restoration of rights to Ohio firearms purchasers.

J.A.W., 35, was convicted while in college (1999) for possession of marijuana. In August of 2007 a judge in Hamilton county granted him relief from disability pursuant to O.R.C 2923.14, restoring his gun rights. Ohio law was also modified that year (via HB347) which allowed him to obtain a concealed handgun license (the new law prohibited the sheriff from using a conviction where relief had been granted as grounds for denial).

Not long after that, however, citing a 1998 U.S. Supreme Court decision, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) stopped accepting Ohio's court orders restoring a citizen's right to own firearms, and he was no longer considered by the FBI's National Instant Check System (NICS) as eligible to purchase a firearm.

In late 2008, he testified before a Senate committee in support of a BFA-backed amendment that would have addressed this issue. The amendment was not adopted, but the Republican committee chairman promised the issue would be readdressed in the next General Assembly.

Sixteen months into the session, Democrat Senator Jason Wilson introduced SB247, which brings Ohio law into alignment with Federal law on restoration of rights. The bill eventually passed the Ohio Senate by a large margin, including a 100% vote on a floor amendment. This bill is entirely unopposed by the Ohio Prosecuting Attorney's Association, the Buckeye Sheriff's Association and almost every law enforcement organization in Ohio.

But despite leadership from the House and Senate agreeing that they would cooperate in bringing this bill to a timely vote, the Senate took too long to pass the bill. Now we are in the "lame duck" session with time running out for the House to act on their promise to pass SB247, as well as another pro-gun bill SB239 ((Restaurant & Car Carry Rules Fix).

Thankfully, his wait is over. Pro-gun Governor Ted Strickland has granted him a full pardon so that he can again be recognized by the federal government as having a right to bear arms. But few who are affected by this problem in Ohio law will receive clemency from the governor, and there is simply no excuse for not bringing this vote to the floor of the Ohio House.

Time is incredibly short, and we need your help. We need you to do whatever is needed (print this article, write it on your hand, forward to Twitter, post on Facebook) to generate as many calls and emails about these two bills as possible. If you have already called and emailed, call and email again.

1.) Click here to call your State Representative
2.) Click here to email your State Representative
3.) Follow the instructions and contact your representative and the Speaker, and respectively demand that they allow these two bills to come to a vote.

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.

Related Stories:
URGENT: Ohio House schedules sessions, but fate of pro-gun bills is still in doubt

Dave Yost: A Self-Evident Truth: All Rights Are Equal

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