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DEFENSIVE FREEDOM IN CLEVELAND, OHIO

 
 
Reply Fri 31 Dec, 2010 07:20 pm
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/30/us/30ohio.html?_r=1&emc=tnt&tntemail0=y



December 29, 2010

Ohio Court Limits Power of Localities on Gun Laws
By BOB DRIEHAUS

CINCINNATI - The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld a 2006 law
that prohibits cities and other local governments from enforcing
ordinances that are more restrictive than state gun laws.

The City of Cleveland had challenged the statute
in order to continue enforcing ordinances that
officials said were tailored to fight urban gun
violence, including registration of handguns,
restrictions on children's access to firearms
and prohibitions on the possession or sale of
assault weapons. Banning such ordinances would
violate the state's home-rule laws, the city argued.

But in a decision released Wednesday,
the court upheld the statute, 5 to 2.

"Law-abiding gun owners would face a confusing
patchwork of licensing requirements, possession
restrictions and criminal penalties as they travel
from one jurisdiction to another" without a
uniform statute, according to the ruling, written
by Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton.

Justice Paul E. Pfeifer dissented, arguing that the
statute "infringes upon municipalities'
constitutional home-rule rights by preventing
them from tailoring ordinances concerning the
regulation of guns to local conditions."

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.

"The inability to control guns in Cleveland,
where large numbers of people live, work
and gather in close proximity to one another,
limits proactive strategies for
protecting our community and puts all of us at
greater risk," said Marty Flask, Cleveland's public
safety director.

Mr. Triozzi said the broader implication of the
decision was a shift in power toward state
legislators and away from city councils.

"All the Legislature has to do is to declare that a
given issue is their turf, and there will be no
ability for municipalities to enact any meaningful
legislation to make their situation better," he said.

The ruling was hailed by the National Rifle Association,
Ohioans 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.


[All emfasis has been joyfully added by David.]
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