Passenger shot on 'no-guns' COTA bus
WCMH, Columbus' NBC affiliate, reported recently that Columbus police are searching for a man suspected of assaulting and then shooting a passenger on a COTA bus.
From the article:
Columbus police and medic personnel were called to the area of Cleveland and Myrtle avenues on the city's northeast side on a report of a shooting at about 10:22 p.m. Wednesday.
Officers tell NBC4 the shooter and three unidentified black males boarded the bus and then exited the rear door of the bus.
While the suspects were exiting the bus, one of the suspects struck passenger Jamar Brantly, 18, in the face with an open hand, according to police.
Brantly tells officers he chased after the suspects out of the rear of the bus, at which time he was shot by a fourth suspect.
The four suspects fled northbound from the scene, according to police.
Brantly was transported to an area hospital in stable condition.
The shooter is described as a black male between the ages of 18 and 20. He was last seen wearing a red shirt and sunglasses.
Ohio Revised Code prohibits concealed carry in most buildings owned by the state or a political subdivision. However, the ORC does NOT prohibit license-holders on property outside the building itself, nor does it prohibit license-holders from traveling on city busses. Policies or signs posted to the contrary are a violation of the intent of the General Assembly, and put innocent people at risk.
In 2004, then-State Senator Randy Gardner inquired with then-Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro's office on the subject of city busses. Sen. Gardner's office advised as follows:
"The AG's office is under the belief that public busses are not exempted and that local ordinances can't override state law."
Last year, the Toledo Area Regional Transportation Agency (TARTA), which had also placed 'no-guns' signs on its busses upon passage of Ohio's concealed carry law six years earlier, agreed to modify TARTA's policy, and change TARTA's "passenger code of conduct" to allow lawful concealed carry on its busses. It is high time COTA and the rest of the state transit authorities do the same.
Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.
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