FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ohio Supreme Court to Review Pivotal Home Rule Challenge and Local Government Limitations in Gun Ban Case
COLUMBUS, Ohio, Sept. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Wednesday, The Ohio Supreme Court accepted an appeal by the City of Clyde in Ohioans For Concealed Carry, Inc. et. al. v. City of Clyde, et. al.
The original lawsuit, filed in 2004, challenged the city of Clyde's ordinance that allowed posting of signs to prohibit otherwise legal handguns being carried by licensed Ohioans in local city parks.
"Reviewing this case will provide the Ohio Supreme Court a great opportunity to review Article XVIII, Section 3 of the Ohio Constitution, the Home Rule Amendment, and its limitations when a local municipality attempts to exceed its authority by enacting ordinances in conflict with comprehensive state legislation," said Ohioans For Concealed Carry attorney Daniel Ellis, of Lydy & Moan, LTD.
Ohioans For Concealed Carry (OFCC) filed the lawsuit against the city of Clyde after many attempts to settle the issue with the city. When the city completely ignored those attempts, OFCC was forced to pursue the matter in court in order to seek relief for law-abiding gun owners from over-reaching local governments like Clyde.
While the Clyde decision was pending in the trial court, the Appellate Court ruled in a separate criminal case that Ohio's concealed carry law is not a "general law". This resulted in the lower court ruling against the OFCC case. During the appeal, the legislature passed Ohio House Bill 347.
This necessary law emphasized the Ohio General Assembly's intent to enact a general law "to provide uniform laws throughout the state regulating ... firearms, their components and their ammunition." By enacting comprehensive state legislation, local municipalities cannot enact regulations that are more restrictive than state law. The Appellate court was advised of this clear statement of the General Assembly. Consequently, it reversed the lower court's decision against OFCC and ruled in its favor.
Upon appeal by Clyde, OFCC attorneys took the unusual position of arguing in favor of the Supreme Court taking the case up for review in spite of their win. A statewide decision on this issue consistent with the appellate court will eliminate the ambiguity and confusion created by conflicting laws enacted by local municipalities and help law-abiding citizens avoid criminal prosecution when traveling throughout Ohio.
Attorney General Jim Petro intervened in this case on behalf of the State of Ohio, and his office had agreed with our attorneys. When Attorney General Marc Dann was elected to the same position, his staff continued to support the General Assembly's constitutional authority to enact uniform and comprehensive legislation. This obviously adds credibility to OFCC's position.
"The National Rifle Association has supported our efforts in this endeavor on behalf of Ohio's gun owners and we couldn't be more thankful," said Jeff Garvas, President of Ohioans For Concealed Carry. "The common sense fact remains that when Ohio's gun laws are consistent across the State of Ohio, they are substantially easier to follow and easier for law enforcement agencies to apply equally and consistently. We are confident that the Ohio Supreme Court will agree with the Appellate Court decision to honor this necessary law that the General Assembly has enacted."
Ohioans For Concealed Carry, formed in 1999, is Ohio's largest grassroots gun rights organization. Since it's inception OFCC has worked to pass HB12, HB347, and defeated a number of anti-gun legislation schemes. The organization has been involved in many pivotal lawsuits, including the constitutional challenge Klein v. Leis, which the Ohio Supreme Court considered in 2003 and Cleveland v. State of Ohio with the National Rifle Association, in which the City of Cleveland is challenging HB347. Ohioans For Concealed Carry's annual Picnic, the Party In The Park, will feature Governor Ted Strickland as Keynote Speaker this Saturday, September 29th.