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Ohio State Seal

As with most states, Ohio pre-empts local governments from enacting gun ordinances that are stricter than state law.   To allow such laws would make the exercise of Second Amendment rights a legal minefield, as it would be practically impossible to keep up with hundreds of variations in the law that could make a perfectly legal act on one side of the street a serious crime on the other side. Cleveland challenged the preemption law in 2010, claiming that “home rule” prevented the state from restraining the cities’ power. The Ohio supreme court, though, upheld earlier rulings in favor of state authority to protect Second Amendment and state constitutional rights . . .

But many local governments continued to keep laws that infringed on the RKBA on the books, producing a chilling effect on the exercise of those rights. A provision in the preemption statute provided for the recovery of costs and attorney’s fees when cities were sued to provide an incentive for them to follow the state law. Several cities changed their local ordinances as a result. But some cities learned to exercise a loophole in the law in order to discourage further lawsuits.

They refused to change the law, fighting the effort in court until the last minute, wasting city resources and costing those challenging the illegal practices as much money as possible. Then, just before a court ruling was handed down, they would repeal the statute, preventing the plaintiff from recouping any costs or attorney’s fees.

As part of a number of reforms to Ohio gun laws proposed in House Bill 203, that loophole would be closed. Once sued, cities would be subject to a $100 a day fee if they lost the lawsuit or subsequently repealed the ordinance. While $100 a day is only a fraction of the cost of one city worker’s daily pay, it provides some reimbursement of the costs of funding the lawsuit and provides and may discourage cities from delaying repeal as long as possible.

Other reforms included in House Bill 203 include reform of Ohio self defense law to bring it into concurrence with most other states (Stand Your Ground provision), and reforms of the Ohio Concealed Carry permit law. This bears watching.

©2013 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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40 Responses to Ohio Tries to Bolster Preemption, Gun Owner Protections

  1. They’re using the smoking ban playbook. Allow town level pre-emption of freedom. Get the big cities to enact bans, follow with “progressive” towns, build a critical mass, get a statewide ban and then prohibit local pre-emption of the ban.

  2. Concealed carry is still fairly new to Ohio. It was enacted sometime in the 90’s. And Ohio went for Obama during the elections. I still have family in Ohio and I get there every couple of years. There’s a great deal of hunters there that would fall under TTAG’s description of Fudd.

    Ohio and Texas have reps as being gun friendly, that in my experience with both, is overblown.

    • Seems like a pretty progressive list of gun-friendly components listed on this bill, especially for a state that’s north of the Mason-Dixon. Are you sure you want to write off Ohio as Fudd/hunter state?

      • Let’s see if it passes. I’m sure there are good 2a people in Ohio as there are in CA. But they have to reckon with the population centers, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinatti as we have to fight LA and SF. At the end of the day, they went Obama.

        • you should look at the composition of our state government and the firearms laws here in OH currently, I think you’d be surprised. No restriction on NFA items, just follow federal rules, shall issue CCW, no gun registration, no gun buying permits, handgun permits, waiting times, it’s almost as good as Idaho (my last state of residence).

        • You can thank that shi*hole known as Cleveland for the election going that way. Mistake by the lake, indeed.

        • Bill sez: “it’s almost as good as Idaho (my last state of residence).”

          I have a hard time believing Idaho has the bullshit rule about not being able to carry *openly* in your car without a permit to *conceal*.

          Even after the Bravo Sierra that passed in Colorado, I will take Colorado outside of Denver over Ohio any day of the week.

      • Ohio is very conservative anywhere that is not dominated by minorities. Blue collar factory workers or would be factory workers if the factories hadn’t moved or been shut down… rural farmers and country boys, etc. Unfortunately, Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati overbalanced that in the last election, but our legislature and governor are conservative. Gun laws here are pretty good, the only way they could be better is if they removed the 30+ round mag in gun=machine gun law from the books, which is actually being looked at and will be voted on early next year!! They’re also looking at cutting down the 12hr classtime requirement for CCW to something less of a hassle.

        • “the 30+ round mag in gun=machine gun law from the books”…..

          What law is that? 30 round mags are totally legal in ohio..

        • To MP, in Ohio, if you have a mag capable of holding more than 30 rounds, upon inserting it into a receiving, compatible firearm, you have, by Ohio law, created a machine gun. Not really enforced and many suppliers in state sell mags with a greater than 30 capacity, but the law is what it is and its being reassessed in the legislature.

        • Hmm…. I had no idea…30+ round mags are everywhere in ohio, every gun shop, every gun show….

          What about glock 33 round mags?- they’re everywhere too….

        • technically, without some ‘permanent capacity restriction, those would be illegal if put into a compatible firearm. I see them all over though, I’ve never heard of a prosecution on this type of thing, probably just something to nail you with if you’ve already been accused of a more serious crime.

        • “Gun laws here are pretty good, the only way they could be better is if they removed the 30+ round mag in gun=machine gun law from the books,”

          Oh and they could get rid of the utterly asinine laws against carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle without a concealed weapons permit (or whatever you call it there).

    • Corrrection… 2003ish or 2005, IIRC, was when concealed carry licensing law was enacted. Ohioans always could carry concealed. The difference after the licensing law was that one wouldn’t risk getting hassled by law enforcement and charged in the courts for doing so. Up to the 1990s, carrying concealed wasn’t a problem and many of us just figured we would rely on the “prudent man” affirmative defense in Ohio law, if needed. Prior to the 1990s, i didn’t personally know of anyone being charged for carrying concealed without a license as the only offense. My experience was that officers generally overlooked the fact that one was carrying concealed when the person was not found to be committing an actual crime. Officers never hassled me over my concealed carry sidearm. I had interactions with them as a young man and an EMA volunteer prior to concealed carry licensing law.

      For any that might not know, Ohio was and remains an open carry state.

      • Just be sure to do the Wisconsin Dance if you want to open carry without a concealed weapons permit.

        In other words your “open carry friendly” state leaves a lot to be desired.

        • Yes, it does leave a whole lot to be desired. Specifically, no unlicensed open carry in a motor vehicle needs to be corrected. It’s ridiculous.

        • Thankfully, you at least seem to realize it’s a problem–there are other Ohioans on this thread saying all is sunshine and it’s almost as good as Idaho and the only problem is >30 round mags are NFA items.

        • I guess intended tone didn’t come through in my initial post about firearm carry in Ohio. We didn’t need a law passed to license concealed carry. At the time, we only needed a line or so of the Ohio Revised Code removed so people couldn’t be caught up at the desecration of law enforcement and the courts. The Ohio Constitution already affirmed the right to keep and bear arms. Instead, some well meaning Ohioans converted an unlicensed right that many, many Ohioans exercised for generations into a licensed privilege. It was a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’ since almost everybody opted for concealed carry in all of the years before the licensing law. I guess the public didn’t realize how many Ohioans have always been armed. 🙁

          I often point out that Ohio is still, and always has been still an open carry state because I run into a whole lot of people that don’t seem to know that we can and do still OC here.

        • This site is telling me that I don’t have permission to edit the comment (above) that I just posted…

          I often point out that Ohio is still, and always has been still an open carry state because

          should be

          I often point out that Ohio is still, and always has been, an open carry state because

          and

          desecration

          should be

          discretion

    • Every states’ “gun friendliness” is over blown, there isn’t a state out there without anti-gun elements, some just have more than others.

      I know liberal folks that own “assault weapons”, yet supported banning them after Sandy, and still continuing to own them after the failed attempt .

      The duality of man does not recognize the bounds of any state line, political party, or logic.

      • Oh my god. Someone had enough sense to see reality. I get so damn tired of seeing “Texas sucks as a gun state” or “Florida is the last gun state I’d visit.” Who the hell cares?! Texas is fighting for your gun rights as much as any other pro gun state out there. Not to mention, for every other pro gun state to beat texas, I have yet to see that states senator give Feinstein the finger like Cruz did.
        Focus people. We need to care about the big problems like California and new York first. Nitpick and name call AFTER we get them back.

        • Texas has pretty good laws. No registration for non nfa items. Open carry of long guns. Legal to carry concealed while traveling. Must issue state for concealed carry. Reasonable hunting laws, can use silencer, hunt deer with 223,etc.
          plus there are lots of gun stores and ranges. I live in the big city, houston, and they are all over!
          We need more pre-emption laws to make it easier to carry, open carry for hand guns and constitutional carry for hand guns.

      • THAT blows my mind. If they don’t like guns, then don’t own guns. It’s like liberals who campaign for and contribute to tax hiking socialists promising to raise taxes so everyone pays their “fair” share. Then they turn around and pay big bucks to their accountants and lawyers to avoid paying taxes. Geez, if they want to pay more, then pay more! Make a gift to the treasury and quit fighting the IRS.

    • It’s a mixed bag. After all, I only this month learned that Ohio is one of only five states that allows concealed carry in bars. I didn’t think anyone allowed that.

      There are some other factors, too, like prevalence of gun shops, ranges, independent FFL’s, police attitudes during traffic stops, probability of mass freak out if you unintentionally display, etc., that count toward gun friendliness, too. So it can be a little more complex than just the state laws.

  3. Lots of younger gun owners here in Ohio who are interested in semi-auto handguns and ARs to whom Hunting is a secondary reason for gun ownership. Don’t write Ohio off yet. We’re a state with fairly open gun laws, easy access to CCW and enough urban and impoverished areas to make firearms a very real necessity for Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

    • Not to mention that we can open carry with no permit required (take that, Texas!)

      Ohio may have voted for Obama (albeit by a very slim margin) but we are certainly not a “fudd” state. Every time I go to the range, I see a whole lot of ARs, AKs, pistol caliber carbines, and a bunch of other scary black assault machine guns. And I see plenty of non-whites and females there as well.

      The “zombie target” crowd seems to outnumber the fudds, actually.

    • Just to add to this, deer hunting in Ohio is limited to muzzle loaders, shotguns, and bows only. So msrs are strictly range toys/home defense/a big middle finger to the “why do you need a rifle” crowd.

  4. Hope it passes; more of this kind of proactive discouragement of rights infringement is needed – in many areas, not just on the topic of gun rights and the Second Amendment. Could sure use some of it here in CA, but good luck with that.

    • If you look strictly at presidential votes, yes Ohio is blue, but a quick check of Ohio’s elected leadership it’s very much a red state.

      • Obama won Ohio due to severe voter fraud and inner-city ignorance. For example, there was a woman in Cincinnati, Ohio who was an election volunteer that voted 6 times illegally for Obama and recently she was sentenced to seven years. They also were busing people in by the droves to Cleveland precincts for Obama votes (legal and non-legal voters). I AM SAYING THAT THERE IS NO DOUBT IN MY MIND OBAMA IS AN ILLEGAL CANDIDATE/PRESIDENT SINCE HE IS NOT A PROVEN U.S. CITIZEN! His college transcripts are court sealed for the love of GOD. How many of us could apply and secure a job if we told the prospective employer that you cannot view my college transcripts? Yet, the United States people hired him. Obama is suppose to work for us, and yet we accepted this from him. Perhaps, following this logic, I myself could become a Rocket Scientist, Physician or even a politician (LOL). Obama is dishonest, has zero nobility (he let our people die in Benghazi and is covering it up) and is a criminal according to the oath that he took to protect and preserve the Constitution (selectively enforces articles of the laws and Constitution, according to his own whims). He treats the job of the US Commander in Chief as if it is a vacation for his family giving him an excuse to jet around the world, play golf, send his daughters to Mexico on their Spring Break, etc. all at the expense of the tax payers. All this while killing our economy, weakening our standing in the international community, eroding our individual rights, racially dividing the country, infringing on our privacy and making our country more vulnerable to terrorist attacks, due to his muslim ties and refusal to acknowledge the threat of muslim extremist.

    • This has been big in the local media thanks to the potential to remove duty to retreat in public(personally, the Cincinnati rep saying this would create a bunch of Trayvon Martins, and other dems saying people will die from this law being enacted were hilarious echoes from the anti playbook), however I’m more excited for the changes to chl permits and reciprocity.

      Silly mobile view, this was meant to be a new comment not a double post.

      • “personally, the Cincinnati rep saying this would create a bunch of Trayvon Martins, and other dems saying people will die from this law being enacted were hilarious echoes from the anti playbook”

        Hmm. Travyon Martin is a dead thug. We need more *dead* thugs. What’s the problem?

    • In-deed! I’ve posted a number of times above this on the thread, generally in response to people who seem to think Ohio is a gun paradise, but that doesn’t mean I am NOT happy to see efforts at improvement, quite the contrary. Kick ass!

  5. No no no. Make the local officials PERSONALLY responsible for the fines. What gets their attention is not fining the city or town, that isn’t their money. When it’s their own money going out the door, they walk softly.

  6. Obama really needs to be impeached and tried for crimes against the U.S. Constitution (selectively enforcing articles of the oath that he took), Extortion (IRS targeting his opposition), Accessory to Murder after the fact (leaving our people in Benghazi to die and then covering it up), violation of First Amendment Rights (AP wire taps), Privacy violations of the American People, etc. Also. too bad lying to the American people is not an impeachable crime, remember ” If you like your plan, you can keep it?” Why the f*** does Congress no call him to testify? Apparently when he lies to them, that would be a crime. Look, I have no problem with a black president if he has the qualifications. That being said, I am terribly disappointed in the those in this country who voted strictly according to race and therefore put a under qualified, community organizer in the highest office in the land, especially if he bought your vote by offering you more government hand outs. Shame on you!

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