Open carry walk planned for Northwood, Ohio

The (Millbury, OH) Press is reporting that Ohioans For Concealed Carry Inc. plans to hold a demonstration walk Sept. 20 in Northwood in protest of what the organization says was poor treatment of one of its members by city police.

From the story:

The group claims one of its members, Edwin Farbrother, was harassed by police officers July 5 while he was at a Woodville Road ice cream shop with his 18-year-old daughter.
Police Chief Thomas Cairl was at the shop at the time with his family and called on-duty officers when he saw Mr. Farbrother wearing a holstered weapon the chief says was about “85 percent covered” by a vest.

A press release issued by OFCC says police berated Mr. Farbrother for carrying a gun where children were present and told him he was “breaking the law by carrying his firearm openly.”

Chief Cairl last week said Mr. Farbrother first told police he was a security guard and then advised them he had a license for carrying a concealed weapon.

He said Mr. Farbrother was cooperative and officers didn’t harass him. According to the chief, a witness not affiliated with police attested to the conduct of the officers.

Mr. Farbrother’s driver’s license was broken while officers were conducting a check but Chief Cairl said the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles has acknowledged there has been a problem with lamination on the licenses and drivers may be able to have their damaged licenses replaced.

The story reports that OFCC filed a complaint over the incident with the police department and city law director and an Internal Affairs investigation was conducted but found there was no misconduct by officers. According to the press release, OFCC disagrees with the findings of the investigation and believes Mr. Farbrother is owed an apology by the police department.

Again, from the story:

“There is no prohibition against law abiding citizens openly carrying a firearm for personal protection in the State of Ohio,” the release says. “…at the request of Ohioans For Concealed Carry and other law enforcement agencies who have made similar mistakes, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office has begun publicizing the fact that openly carrying a firearm in Ohio is not an illegal act and is working that information into its statewide training programs and printed materials.”

Chief Cairl said he respects the organization’s right to demonstrate and said members will be welcome to hold their gathering in the city but insists Mr. Farbrother’s firearm was partially covered.

“His riding vest was covering everything but the tip of the barrel,” he said. “If he was openly carrying that night I would have to say we’re at fault. But he wasn’t.”

For people who know Ohio firearm laws, a question of whether or not Mr. Farbrother, a concealed handgun license (CHL) -holder, was carrying his firearm openly, "partially covered", or completely concealed, is completely irreleveant. The law allows for all of the above. There is nothing in Ohio law that demands CHL-holders keep their firearms concealed, and nothing in Ohio law that prevents citizens from carrying firearms openly, points that will no doubt be made at the upcoming open carry walk in Northwood.

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