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Back in 2014 the city of Cleveland proposed some strict new gun control regulations. It read like a gun control activist’s Christmas wish list, including things like a “gun offender registry” based on the concept of a sex offender registry. It would also have required reporting of stolen firearms, and making it a crime to “allow access” to a firearm to someone under the age of 18.

After months of debate the city council crammed through the new laws despite knowing full-well that they were in direct conflict with the state of Ohio’s rigorous pre-emption law that prohibited local gun regulation. Now, about two years later (and who knows how many hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money wasted), the courts have finally caught up and declared Cleveland’s new laws null and void.


The appeals judges that found all but two of those laws were more restrictive than existing state gun laws. The restriction on selling to people who are intoxicated and the prohibition on giving guns to a minor are allowed to stand because they mirror existing laws established by the legislature, according to the decision.

Judge Sean Gallagher, who penned the panel’s opinion, noted that the judges could only make their decision based on state law.

“The city may not enact ordinances that conflict with Ohio’s firearm ownership and possession laws, which are intended to prove uniformity throughout the state,” Gallagher wrote. “If individuals on either side of the divide are unhappy with the law as written, the remedy lies with the Ohio legislature.”

Cleveland gun owners can be happy that at least the state court system understands the concept that laws are intended to be interpreted as written instead of applying their personal beliefs and preference. In short, the approach new Justice Neil Gorsuch’s reportedly espouses.

We can only hope that a result like this is an indication of what we can expect at the Supreme Court level. Watch this space.

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  1. If I had to guess, Cleveland will still move forward with enacting these BS laws while they appeal the court’s decision. Because leftists have no respect for any form of the rule of law, and nobody will hold them accountable.

  2. Ah, the mistake on the lake continues to… fail.

    Some of the suburbs are alright but generally speaking the Cleveland area is a craphole that get’s worse all the time. No shocker when you see who they elect.

  3. This court ruling is why everyone complains about activist courts instead of letting local government govern like our founders wanted. Yes, the outcome was favorable but the method makes conservatives look like hypocrites.
    Focus on the ballot box and live with laws until you can change them like a grownup

    • It is not an “activist court” when it enforces the laws as already written.

      An “activist court” is one that invents laws or interpretations out of whole cloth, without a legal basis to go on. Examples include Roe V. Wade, or the judges banning Trump’s executive orders on immigration. The law, as clearly written in the Constitution, allows him to implement such a ban; the “activist judges” decided that they didn’t like the “intent” behind the law, and thus threw it out.

    • Say what?

      Ohio state law — passed by the legislature — says essentially “no local laws on guns that are stricter than what we have passed.”

      Cleveland city council didn’t like that state law, so they just thumbed their nose at it.

      All the court did was to just apply the state statute as written. That’s hardly “judicial activism.” Indeed, NOT to have done so (a-la the California Supreme Court lobotomizing various voter-passed initiatives — essentially ignoring the law because they just didn’t like it) would have been judicial activism.

    • Sorry Surf. Analysis failure.
      Local government exists at the mercy of state government.
      This court correctly reminded the Cleveland tyrants of that fact.

    • I don’t think you understand what judicial activism means. Judicial activism is when a justice makes law through generous interpretation. This is a case of judges applying the law as written.

      And there’s a good reason for preemption… it’s insane to have a patchwork of laws where every city or town has different ones which results in people never knowing which laws they’re breaking at any given time.

    • GWsuft you prove time and time again you don’t know the basics if firearms law or US law.

      Your contention that a city council can sharply limit first, fourth, second or fifth amendment rights or powers given to the state by the US constitution is bizarre.

      By your argument if the Cleveland city council were to legalize slavery, it would be “judicial activism” for the supreme court to rule against the council?

    • If the founders wanted to ensure local (i.e. municipal or county) government to rule, they surely would have taken steps to secure its mere existence, rather than just requiring the states to guarantee a republican form of government and leaving it at that.

    • The ballot box and state legislature already recognized those rights of gun owners. Your contention any town council, unelected bureaucrat, city council, etc can just throw out the state law and slash those rights shows deep ignorance.
      Pew Research shows people on the left know much less about the basics of civics and US law and your posting proves that.

      The hypocrisy of the left is unbelievable. They think it is not judicial activism to limit rights, but it is “bad” judicial activism to insure those rights. That is a Soviet sensibility

  4. Thank you Ohio for Concealed Carry for bringing this law suit. One of the main reasons I am a patron member.

  5. State preemption laws need teeth. Starting with city and county governments paying for all the states litigation expense in any of these issues. A little jail time for any city commissioner voting for any of these laws would help, maybe starting with 90 days for the first offense and on up for 2nd, 3rd, etc….

  6. The legislators that voted for these bills should have to pay the court fees after they laws eventually get struck down. Maybe then they will think twice about passing obviously illegal laws.

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