Ohio Chief Justice Pat DeWine Opposes Proposed Rules to Seize Guns
On Oct. 8, 2018, we told you the Ohio Supreme Court had proposed amendments to the Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio that will empower law enforcement to seize guns. Many of these changes usurp the role of elected lawmakers and represent the most significant changes to Ohio law of our time.
If passed and adopted as they are currently written, the amendments will empower authorities to:
- Seize guns, ammo, and concealed handgun license, requiring a separate legal action to be filed within 30 day for return of the property and no clear policy for returning or reinstating the license.
- Dispose of guns and ammo as unclaimed property upon expiration of the protection order.
- Create a registry of all firearms owned by the gun owner by repeatedly asking for an inventory of firearms owned or possessed throughout proposed forms.
- Infringe on the 2nd and 5th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.
- Ignore the Ohio Constitution and court decisions on matters of civil protection orders.
- Usurp the power reserved exclusively for the Ohio General Assembly to create new laws.
In response to this shocking proposal, we encouraged you to contact the Ohio Supreme Court and tell them to abandon these proposed rules. Thousands of gun owners responded, so many in fact that it overwhelmed the court's email and phone systems.
The NRA also made its voice heard by submitting a detailed letter of opposition to the court.
Last month, in response to my correspondence to the Ohio Supreme Court, I received a letter from Chief Justice Pat DeWine. Here is the text from the letter:
Dear Concerned Citizen,
Thank you for your email regarding the proposed changes to the Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio and the related protection order forms. As you may know, on July 17, 2018, a majority of the Supreme Court voted to send these proposed changes out for public comment. I opposed the changes at that time and as a consequence voted against sending them out for public comment. I continue to oppose the changes as currently proposed and will not support them when they return to the Court for a final vote next year.
As Justices of the Ohio Supreme Court, we take an oath of office to support the constitution of the State of Ohio and the constitution of the United States. It is critical that any rules that we pass comport with constitutional guarantees.
I appreciate the fact that so many citizens have taken the time to express their opposition to the proposed changes. I am hopeful that as a result of this outpouring of public comment, a Court majority will reconsider the currently-proposed amendments.
Justice Pat DeWine
Buckeye Firearms Association will continue to oppose these rule changes as a vast judicial overreach. We hope the Justices will heed the pleas of Ohio citizens to reject these changes when they cast their vote.
Dean Rieck is Executive Director of Buckeye Firearms Association, a former competitive shooter, NRA Patron Member, #1 NRA Recruiter for 2013, business owner and partner with Second Call Defense.