Supremes uphold affirmative defense law; law immediately fails Seneca Co. woman

Despite the fact that 45 states across the nation (including every state bordering Ohio) have some legal mechanism for law-abiding citizens to bear arms for self-defense, and despite the successful reduction of violent crime from such laws nationwide, Ohio's governor, certain Senators, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol bureaucracy still seem to believe that Ohioans are less responsible than the citizens of these other states.

For more than seven months, the good citizens of Seneca County continued to prove them wrong.

On February 12, Judge Michael P. Kelbley threw out a concealed-weapons charge against a Fostoria woman (and former rape victim) rape victim caught with a gun under her seat during a traffic stop, saying Ohio law prevents citizens from protecting themselves.

This ruling meant that, in Seneca County, the concealed carry ban could not be enforced. For seven months, responsible citizens enjoyed being able to exercise their Constitutional, civil, and human right to self-defense in that county without fear of arrest, without a licensing framework, without training requirements, without background checks, without databases, and without several poison pill amendments inserted by the Senate at Gov. Taft's request, in the name of "saving the children."

By all accounts, there was been no mayhem, no blood in the streets, no shoot-outs at fender-benders. It seems the good people of Seneca County are as capable as residents in Vermont and Alaska (not to mention our neighbors in Kentucky, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Michigan and West Virginia) at exercising their unfettered self-defense rights without so much as a glitch in daily business for Seneca County law enforcement. Residents in Hamilton County (Cincinnati) were proven to be just as responsible, when the concealed carry ban was lifted several times in that city by the courts before a Supreme Court stay.

The Ohio Supreme Court recently upheld Ohio's ban on carrying concealed firearms, indicating that Ohio's affirmative defense law - which finds those who concealed a firearm guilty until proven innocent - to be understandible to the common man. The law they just upheld has failed this rape victim, as it has failed so many in the past, and as it will continue to fail Ohioans until Senate President White acts to appoint conferees and send a bill to Bob Taft.

Court reversal means felony charge reinstated
October 1, 2003
Toledo Blade

LIMA, Ohio — Citing a decision by the Ohio Supreme Court, the Third District Court of Appeals has overturned a Seneca County decision that declared the state’s concealed-weapon ban unconstitutional.

The appeals court decision, filed Monday, reversed a February ruling by Judge Michael Kelbley of Seneca County Common Pleas Court. Judge Kelbley had dismissed an indictment against a Fostoria woman who said she hid a gun under a car seat because she had been raped twice.

Because of the appeals court’s ruling, a felony charge of carrying a concealed weapon has been reinstated against the woman, county Prosecutor Ken Egbert, Jr., said yesterday. The charge carries a maximum prison term of 18 months.

Click here to read the story in the Toledo Blade.

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