Alliance open carry 'Defense' Walk HUGE contrast to neighboring Youngstown
While the smaller market and proximity to Youngstown likely reduced attendance at this Walk, the event was indeed notable because of its proximity to Youngstown.
The city of Alliance and the Alliance Police Department were very supportive of the 40-or-so open carry 'Defense' Walkers who took to the streets Sunday. Alliance police even told Walkers that they had received calls from citizens reporting "people with guns", and promptly informed them that openly carrying firearms is legal under Ohio law.
By contrast, Saturday, just a few miles away in Youngstown, Chief Robert Bush was harrassing Walkers by video-taping their every move, and by threatening to arrest anyone who tries to openly carry in his town again and "let the judges sort it out."
Links to post-Walk media coverage as follows:
Alliance Review: Group wants concealed weapons legalized
(Click "Read More..." link below for an archived version)
Group wants concealed weapons legalized
The Alliance Review
Alliance area residents adhered to the old adage of have gun will travel Sunday afternoon as concealed weapons supporters marched through the city with their pistols loaded to show support of a bill to make carrying concealed weapons legal.
“Right now you can carry open,” said event organizer Dan Duley. “The only problem with that is you don’t have to have no background check, you don’t have to have no training and you don’t have to have no permit,” Duley continued. “What we want to do is get the concealed carry because you have to have a background check, you have to have training and you have to have a permit just to carry.”
Twenty-one people met in the southeast corner of College Plaza a day after Youngstown’s rally saw 75 participants show up for its march. The marches have been taking place all over the state, from Cincinnati to Findlay.
Currently, Ohioan’s are afforded the right to legally carry a weapon as long as it is visibly holstered in plain view.
What the supporters of the new law are seeking is a change to that policy that would allow registered gun owners the ability to hide the weapon in a coat, or under a jacket.
“The law abiding citizens that get a permit to carry, they respect the law, they are not going to go out and shoot a police officer or rob a place,” said Duley. “The crooks they don’t care, they do it every day. The Buckeye Sheriff’s Association is more or less for it, Most of the F.O.P. (Fraternal Order of Police) is for it, The only one that really is on Taft’s side is the State Highway Patrol.”
The Ohio House of Representatives and Senate have approved separate bills to give Ohioans the right to conceal. A meeting will be conducted soon to discuss the differences and work on an agreeable new draft before seeking ratification by both legislative bodies.
“Taft put a provision in there that a licensed permit holder, if they have a person 18 or younger in the car, they have to have the weapon locked up and that’s not going to do them any good against car jacking and stuff like that,” said Duley. “So we trying to get that out and have them work on a better bill for the law abiding concealed carry people.”
The march headed west on State Street to Union Avenue and back. No opposition was present for the march.
“We’re trying to get the point across that we are not asking for much,” said Youngstown march organizer Rick Kaleda.
As they headed down the road, many cars slowed to look at the march although no noticeable support for the cause was shown or heard.
Most events have ranged from 30 to 150 people, according to Kaleda.
“As far as how many more are going to be scheduled, each one is been coordinated in a grass roots effort and whoever decides to have one in their town sets one up in their town,” he said.
More information on the issue, or locations of marches, can be obtained at the right to conceal Web site www.NRAILA.org/oh-getrighttocarry.asp.