Cuyahoga County Court Recognizes Gun Rights

by Ken Hanson

In what may be a sign that the world as we know it is coming to an end, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Brian J. Corrigan this week ruled that Ohio's firearm disability for misdemeanor drug convictions is unconstitutional (State of Ohio v. Marinko Tomas).

In a simple, 3.5 page opinion, Judge Corrigan ruled that denying someone the right to defend their home and business based upon a misdemeanor drug conviction serves no compelling government interest.

If this sounds familiar, it is because it is the same argument we have been making to the Ohio General Assembly for 3 years, and it is the same argument the Ohio Senate accepted in a unanimous amendment vote to SB247.

Although Judge Corrigan's opinion is welcome, there are two problems. First, this unlucky defendant is going to face the prospect, and burden, of Cuyahoga County appealing this judicial decision.

Second, as soon as this defendant steps foot outside of Cuyahoga County, no court is bound by this decision, meaning he could be arrested, charged, and have to make the same arguments to a new court, with no guarantee of a similar result.

It is past time for any discussion or argument on SB247. There is no serious, reasoned opposition to the bill, and even law enforcement groups have conceded the need. It is time, past time, for the Ohio House to pass this desperately needed bill, and their last chance to do so is next week.

Call the Speaker and your Representative today. If even Cuyahoga County Judges are agreeing with the gun groups, legislators should be embarrassed that this bill has not passed.

Please call your State Representative and Speaker Armond Budish RIGHT NOW.

Ken Hanson is a gun rights attorney in Ohio. He serves as the Legislative Chair for Buckeye Firearms Association, and is the attorney of record for Buckeye Firearms Foundation, which filed friend-of-the-court briefs in the Heller and McDonald Supreme Court cases. The National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) has awarded him with its 2008 Defender of Justice Award and 2009 Jay M. Littlefield Volunteer of the Year Award. He is the author of The Ohio Guide to Firearm Laws, a certified firearms instructor and holds a Type 01 Federal Firearms License.

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