Ohio Supremes hear arguments on joint BFF/OFCC challenge to Columbus bump stock ban
Simultaneous lawsuits were filed on Thursday, June 21, 2018, against the cities of Columbus and Cincinnati over ordinances banning the possession, use, or acquisition of so-called "rate-of-fire firearms enhancers," commonly referred to as bump stocks or trigger cranks.
Buckeye Firearms Foundation (BFF) and Ohioans for Concealed Carry were named as plaintiffs in the cases, citing that these unconstitutional ordinances clearly violate Ohio law.
"Ohio Revised Code 9.68 preempts the home rule powers of municipalities to regulate firearms, their components, and ammo," said Dean Rieck, Executive Director of Buckeye Firearms Association.
"This is important because Ohio used to have a confusing patchwork of gun laws. Merely crossing a city border could turn an otherwise law-abiding citizen into a criminal. More than a decade ago, legislators wisely decided to correct this problem by creating a uniform system of state law and forbidding cities from passing any laws which conflict with those laws."
Leaders with Ohioans for Concealed Carry (OFCC) agree and point out that there is a bigger issue at stake than "bump stocks."
"This isn't just about bump stock devices," said Doug Deeken, a Director with OFCC, "This is about rule of law in Ohio.
"For more than a decade, Ohio cities have been prohibited from any attempt to pass conflicting gun laws. There have been previous lawsuits going all the way up to the Ohio Supreme Court to establish this fact. It's settled law."
The Cincinnati case was won on February 8, 2019, when Judge Ruehlman of Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas granted a Motion for Summary Judgment and issued a permanent injunction preventing the City of Cincinnati from enforcing its illegal ordinance. Cincinnati appealed the decision to the Ohio 1st District Court of Appeals, which has yet to schedule oral arguments on the court's docket.
The Columbus case had achieved a victory in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas months earlier ( July 13, 2018), but the City of Columbus also appealed, and the 10th District Court of Appeals later reversed the lower courts' ruling.
OFCC/BFF appealed the case to the Ohio Supreme Court, which finally heard the case on July 8, 2020. The entire video of oral arguments can be viewed here:
Chad D. Baus served as Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary from 2013-2019. He is co-founder of BFA-PAC, and served as its Vice Chairman for 15 years. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website, and is also an NRA-certified firearms instructor.