Rep. Joe Uecker stung by article in Enquirer

An article in the July 28th Cincinnati Enquirer concerning gunfire in densely populated township subdivisions caught Rep. Joe Uecker by surprise. Uecker, a tireless firearm rights advocate, was originally interviewed as part of a story on the growing conflict between those who move to the country to enjoy the shooting sports as part of home ownership and township zoning regulations that allow increasingly dense housing developments.

Buckeye Firearms Association would like to reassure Buckeye state gun owners that Rep. Uecker is a strong advocate for firearm rights, and has been an important partner in each step of the process, including co-sponsoring Bills that would reform Ohio’s absurd CCW laws. In fact, Rep. Uecker spent a portion of yesterday, July 27, 2006, with Buckeye Firearms Association volunteers discussing two recent, shocking criminal convictions of otherwise law abiding gun owners in Ohio. (Check back soon for a complete story on how HB12 turns law-abiding gun owners, not license-holders but GUN OWNERS, into felons. You thought you had it bad as a license-holder!)

Not surprisingly, Rep. Uecker showed as much, or more, outrage at the convictions as the volunteers he was meeting with, and immediately discussed urgent legislative fixes to these unintended consequences.

In the past, home ownership in “the country” typically meant building on a 10+ acre lots in a township, with your nearest neighbors half a mile distant. Today, townships bordering urban areas typically allow minor and major subdivision development in close proximity to the “country estates.” Township trustees in Rep. Uecker’s district received complaints from some of the more densely developed areas, and that prompted the Enquirer article.

Due to the context of the article and the layout the journalist used, the article implied that Rep. Uecker was going to introduce legislation to allow township trustees to regulate firearm use. This simply is not accurate. In fact, when this subject came up prior to the Enquirer article, Rep. Uecker’s first reaction was to begin consultations with others, including this political action committee, to see how the worst of the problems could be addressed without infringing at all on the freedoms gun owners enjoy in the Townships.

Revised Code Section 504.04(B)(6) has always provided that Townships may not “Establish regulations affecting hunting, trapping, fishing, or the possession, use, or sale of firearms.” This has created important bastions of freedom in areas otherwise hostile to gun rights, as citizens could simply move slightly outside city limits to evade ill-considered laws. Anyone familiar with Vance’s Shooters Supply in Columbus knows how critical it can be to shooters to have a Township nearby where politicians cannot monkey with firearm rights. Rep. Uecker understands the frustrations of gun owners with local regulation of firearms, and that is why he is a co-sponsor of statewide preemption of firearm laws.

Rep. Uecker has been, and continues to be, a strong advocate for the Ohio gun owner. Those of us who have working relationships with Rep. Uecker and his pro-gun colleagues know this to be true, and did not doubt for a second that the Enquirer article had miscast the situation. Late in the afternoon, Rep. Uecker, Rep. Bubp and others in House and Senate leadership contacted Buckeye Firearms Association to reassure gun owners that the article presented an inaccurate picture. Rep. Uecker is expected to provide a statement on the misunderstanding shortly.

In the interim, sleep easy knowing that strong advocates like Rep. Uecker continue to fight for your rights alongside Buckeye Firearms Association. We are proud of our endorsement of Rep. Uecker for 66th District Representative, and stand by it.



Friday, July 28, 2006

Statement from State Representative Joseph Uecker on Firearms in Ohio Townships

Columbus – The following statement can be attributed in part or whole to State Representative Jospeh Uecker (R- Miami Township) pertaining to recent debate on regulations for firearms in townships:

“In order to clarify, I have no intent to introduce specific legislation on this matter. I do, however, feel it is always necessary to respond to the inquiries and concerns of my constituency, trying to listen and be as helpful as I can.

“In this situation, I was approached indirectly by a constituent and local officials who had concerns. Appropriately so, I am looking into the matter and researching current law and restrictions pertaining to this particular constituent case.”

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