Findlay Courier: They'll tote guns to make a point

November 1, 2003

The long-running debate on whether Ohio citizens should be able to carry concealed guns will take center stage this weekend in downtown Findlay.

At 2 p.m. Sunday, supporters of pending concealed carry legislation will march down Main Street -- many with firearms openly displayed.

The "Defense Walk" route will be from the Main Street bridge to Lincoln Street and back.

Findlay's Steve Gunhouse, a concealed carry supporter who is organizing the walk, said he expects at least 120 people to participate in the silent protest of the state's gun laws.

Chad Baus, a spokesman for Ohioans for Concealed Carry, said walks like the one in Findlay have been held in cities around the state, including Lima, since the Ohio Supreme Court ruled recently that all citizens have an "individual right to self defense."

But the high court also found the state's prohibition against carrying a concealed weapon is constitutional, and that people can exercise their right to defend themselves through "open carry," which is the only legal way for most Ohioans to carry a firearm. Currently, only licensed peace officers can carry a concealed weapon.

"The idea (behind the walks) is to point out the absurdity of the gun laws," Baus said. "On one hand they (the court) say the ban (on carrying concealed weapons) allows us to maintain an orderly society. At the same time, the law allows anyone, without any background checks or training whatsoever, to walk down the street with a firearm in plain view.

"It's not a question of guns or no guns, but open carry or concealed carry."

Click here to read entire the story in the Findlay Courier.

Click on the "Read More..." link below for post-Walk coverage from Findlay.

Findlay Defense Walk brings cross-section of Ohioans
November 2, 2003

Nearly 100 people enjoyed yet another Indian summer day in Ohio by openly carrying firearms to display their support for passage of legislation legalizing the bearing of concealed firearms for self-defense.

Organizer Steve Gunhouse reported that law enforcement presence was almost nil - "There were only two. A sergeant showed up just before the Walk to ask a couple of questions about the plan, then left, and I didn't see him again. One patrolman stayed within a couple of blocks of us. He said he was more concerned about people giving us trouble, but it didn't happen."

Men and women, people young and old (including a disabled person in a motorized wheel chair), and families with children participated in the Findlay open carry 'Defense' Walk.

"We had several people honk and/or wave at us," said Gunhouse, "including one big rig which I figure went through downtown just so he could support us."

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