Three dead in TDOT garage shooting; ODOT insists on garage lot signs

Coming on the heels of two high-profile sexual assaults committed against defenseless women on Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) rest stop property, and after several reports of improperly placed signs incorrectly informing CHL-holders that they were not allowed to carry in rest stop parking areas, ODOT clarified its CCW policy with regard to Ohio rest stops.

ODOT's Assistant Legal Counsel, Michaela J. Peterson told OFCC PAC that "it is our policy, in accordance with Ohio law, to post "No Firearms" signs on the doors of all rest stop facilities."

But in that same communication, and despite having been reminded that Ohio law allows CCW on state-owned property outside the building itself, Peterson also insisted that ODOT would continue to improperly post "no-guns" at entrances to state garages:

    "With regard to the county garages, we reserve the right to place the signs in a conspicuous location, as contemplated in the law, in order to put the public on notice that concealed weapons are not permitted in any state owned or leased building."

If ODOT truly wishes to inform visitors to these garages about the law, they need to try harder. The signs which are now posted at entrances to parking areas of garages that say firearms are illegal "ANYWHERE ON THESE PREMISES".

Can anyone with a shred of intellectual honestly truly believe posting signs with such language in these places "put[s] the public on notice that concealed weapons are not permitted in any state owned or leased building"?

In yet another example of how criminals will never be deterred by laws prohibiting their actions, and in a case which highlights why state employees are as deserving of their human right to self-defense as anyone else, consider this multiple-victim public shooting which occurred Tuesday, January 11 at a Tennessee Department of Transportation garage:

    Five Shot, Three Dead in Tenn. Garage Attack

    A man opened fire Tuesday at a state Transportation Department maintenance garage, killing his wife and two others, and wounding two, authorities said.

    David Jordan, 40, was arrested a short time later, not far from the maintenance garage, after officers followed him, police said. Two officers captured him and found a semiautomatic rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and two pistols in his truck.

    Police said Jordan first went to the garage's office, where he shot and killed his 31-year-old wife, Donna, a department employee. He then walked back outside and killed David Gordon, 41, a deliveryman, and Jerry Wayne Hopper, 61, a Forestry Department employee who was having some work done on his state vehicle, police said.

    The garage is used for maintenance on state vehicles.

OFCC members and PAC volunteers are encouraged to continue to take notice of placement of "no-guns" signs on ODOT property. To properly inform patrons of current Ohio law, signs should be placed on buildings rather than in parking areas.

Any further sightings of improperly placed signs should be reported to [email protected].

Reports of improperly placed signs should also be made to ODOT as follows:

Ohio Department of Transportation
Gordon Proctor, Director
1980 West Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43223
(614) 466-2335
[email protected]

For an indication of how the General Assembly's "no-guns" policy in state buildings (including Ohio rest stop buildings) are impacting travelers in our state, consider this recent email to OFCC:

    Subject: rest stop signs
    From: Robert R.
    Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2005 15:05:24 EST

    I live in Michigan. While "travailing" through Ohio recently, I stopped at a rest area to use the bathrooms. To my surprise the building was posted NO Firearms.

    I went back to the truck and told my son who was travailing with me that I couldn't
    go in there. He had no license, so I could not leave the firearm with him. I
    had no case for it, so I ended up pissing in a bottle.

    Your State is not traveler-friendly.

    Evidently your rest areas are crime free. I wish I could sat that about Michigan rest areas.

    Robert R.
    Davison, MI

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ODOT's ''no-guns'' signs in PARKING LOT at rest stop where rape occurred

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