The state of Ohio recently enacted a law expanding the ability of employees to carry concealed firearms in the workplace and in employers’ parking lots. But in a recent article at military.com, senior US District Court Judge Walter H. Rice let it be known that the feds aren’t subject to such state laws.
Employees and others also cannot bring their guns to the federal court building in Dayton, said U.S. District Court Judge Walter H. Rice.
“Federal installations are not bound by the state law except in certain situations which I don’t think are relevant,” Rice said. “My opinion is that it is not applicable to federal facilities unless the federal installation decides to adopt that portion of the law. What I said applies to the parking lot as well.”
In fact, hizzoner let it be known he’s no fan of that obscure, little known part of the bill of rights that deals with the bearing arms.
“I think open carry (and concealed-carry) laws, with all due deference to the Second Amendment, which I support…are dangerous to any community because of the epidemic of mental health issues throughout this country,” he said. “Putting guns in the hands of mentally incompetent people is a recipe for disaster.”
Judge Rice was appointed in 1980 by President Jimmy Carter and is 80 years old. Rice entered senior status in 2003. He’s also currently an adjunct professor at the University of Dayton School of Law. Senior status means he receives full salary, but carries a reduced workload at the District Court.
While Judge Price is certainly entitled to his personal opinions, you might think he’d distinguish between law-abidnig Americans carrying firearms under the Second Amendment and “Putting guns in the hands of mentally incompetent people….” You’d also hope that he’d be able to rule on the law as it’s written instead of how he’d like to to be.
Judges are sometimes asked to recuse themselves when their public comments or conduct cast doubt on their ability to impartially hear and decide a case without bias. The chance of Judge Rice ruling in a Second Amendment case is not insignificant. Perhaps knowledgeable readers can let us know if these comments are sufficient grounds to ask for recusal in such an event.
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