Ohio Supreme Court Strikes Down Cleveland Gun Laws

This summer, the U.S. Supreme Court “incorporated” the Second Amendment. The McDonald decision means that the states may not abridge Americans’ constitutional right to bear arms. OK, they can do it a little; the Court left the door open to “reasonable” regulations. But point taken. It’s the same point that the Ohio Supreme Court has just made relative to municipal gun laws. By a 5 – 2 ruling, the Court struck down Cleveland’s gun laws for violating the state constitution. Most notable for their forthcoming disappearance from the municipal codes: handgun registration and the ban on assault rifles. Sorry, modern home defense sporting assault rifles. Cleveland’s spanked law director immediately predicted fire and famine and a plague of frogs. Well, almost . . .

Robert J. Triozzi, Cleveland’s law director, who led the city’s lawsuit, said that gun owners would now be able to walk through a public square with rifles, handguns and assault weapons, and that safety rules for possession of guns near children would also be removed, endangering residents. Ohio bans some assault weapons, like sawed-off shotguns, but Cleveland banned a broader array.

Despite missing the fact that sawed-off shotguns are also a federal offense, The New York Times article played this one straight down the middle. That said, expect to find an editorial railing against the ruling in tomorrow’s paper. Should you deign to favor the Old Gray Lady with your time and attention.

The ruling was hailed by the National Rifle AssociationOhioans for Concealed Carry and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, as well as Attorney General Richard Cordray, a Democrat, who lost his re-election bid in November to Mike DeWine.

Mr. Cordray said revisions to state gun laws in 2006 provided a comprehensive set of rights and responsibilities applicable throughout the state. “This is an important victory for every gun owner in Ohio,” he said.

And, potentially, eventually, the entire country.

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