PressMediaWire.com (Press Release Distribution) – Dec 31,2010 –
The Ohio Supreme Court has, once again, in a 5-2 opinion, ruled that Ohio’s “preemption” law is valid. In a case brought by the City of Cleveland against the State of Ohio, the court held that R.C. 9.68 is valid in all respects, including, but not limited to, the mandatory attorney fee provision against any city that attempts to violate a citizen’s right to self-defense.
HB347, the preemption law, became effective in March of 2007. It replaces a patchwork of varied and confusing local rules with “uniform laws throughout the state regulating the ownership, possession, purchase, other acquisition, transport, storage, carrying, sale, or other transfer of firearms, their components, and their ammunition.”
The legislature recognized that, like motor vehicle laws, it makes sense for firearms laws to be uniform throughout the state. Because local laws can only carry misdemeanor penalties, and almost every crime committed with a gun is a felony under state or federal law, the local laws were almost never used to charge criminals and instead served to disarm the crime victims.
Cleveland’s argument against the state law was simple: they felt the state and federal government had not gone far enough to regulate self-defense rights, so the city should still be free to further regulate everyone who happens to be inside city limits.
Writing for the majority, Justice Stratton rejected this argument, stating “A comprehensive enactment need not regulate every aspect of disputed conduct, nor must it regulate that conduct in a particularly invasive fashion.”
It is particularly noteworthy, and refreshing, that Justice Lanzinger, who voted against preemption in a previous case, acknowledged the legal concept of stare decisis that admonishes judges to respect prior decisions, and voted to respect the prior decision where she was in the dissent. The same cannot be said of Justice Pfifer, who once again was in a dissent that had no basis in law or fact.
This ruling also means that Buckeye Firearms Foundation’s suit against Cleveland will be reactivated, and immediate action is expected on the injunction requests previously filed with the trial court.
The suit seeks a temporary restraining order and permanent injunction to stop the City of Cleveland from prosecuting law-abiding gun owners under local ordinances that restrict gun ownership and concealed carry.
The lawsuit also asks the Court to declare 20 different local ordinances unconstitutional on the grounds of state preemption of firearm laws.
In Cleveland, gun ordinances have been used for political or philosophical reasons and had the effect of harassing law-abiding citizens.
Buckeye Firearms Association is a grassroots political action committee (PAC) dedicated to defending and advancing the right of Ohio citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities, including self-defense, hunting, competition, and recreation. We work to elect pro-gun candidates and lobby for pro-gun legislation.
# # #
For more information, please visit www.BuckeyeFirearms.org.
This press release was distributed on behalf of Buckeye Firearms Association by Imagine That Creative, Inc. Please contact BFA directly for more information or to schedule an interview.