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Cleveland's fight against gun law preemption heats up

The City of Cleveland's fight to overturn statewide preemption of gun laws as unconstitutional has begun to heat up.

Last week, Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray filed a merit brief to defend the state law which prohibits local municipalities from passing their own gun laws if they are not in line with state law.

Friday, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc., a Connecticut-based non-profit tax-exempt corporation, is made up of about 5,700 federally licensed firearms manufacturers, distributors and retailers, sportsmen's organizations, and gun clubs, filed a friend of the court brief supporting Ohio law.

"A patchwork of different firearms related municipal laws across Ohio will impose hardships on their lawful and licensed business activities," the organization said in asking justices to reverse the appeals court.

"All citizens of Ohio, regardless of where they live, are equally entitled to exercise their fundamental constitutional right to keep and bear arms and to lawfully own, possess, purchase, sell, transfer, transport, store and carry firearms under the same rules and license business activities," the group said.

Ohio passed statewide preemption in 2006 in order to prevent a "patchwork quilt" of gun laws and ensure that citizens all over the state had the same rights and were subject to the same rules.

Ohioans For Concealed Carry won an Ohio Supreme Court ruling in 2008 when the OSC upheld statewide preemption in the Ohioans For Concealed Carry v. City of Clyde case.

Cleveland lost their initial bid to overturn the law, but won on appeal. The State appealed to the OSC who agreed to hear the case in March. One of Cleveland's arguments is that the Clyde case only applied to concealed carry of handguns.

Attorney General Cordray disagrees and writes in his brief that "the issue is the General Assembly's well-established authority to enact a uniform, comprehensive statutory framework that regulates conduct for all Ohioans."

Ohio citizens shouldn't have to study the laws of every municipality they might pass through or have their rights subject to where they live. The Ohio Supreme Court should find Cleveland's challenge to be without merit and uphold Statewide Preemption.


  • Robert 5 years ago

    Unfortunately the arguments used to defend the state could also be used to defend the federal government in similar situations. Cases like this can become two edged swords if everyone is not careful. If a city intention is to further clarify a state law that might not be bad but if the intention is to contradict a state law and remove a right then it should be prevented from doing so. To do so would make citizens living in that city second class state citzens when compared to other citzens.

  • wheatbeerdog 5 years ago

    Just why would Cleveland wish to take away a constitutional right? What is their motive? Law enforcement? Think about it!

  • Louis 5 years ago

    I wish the City Of Cleveland would put it to a rest. I think Cleveland has other problems to deal with. How much money did they spend on this. How many cops could be on the street with that money.

  • URU 5 years ago

    Robert, you make an interesting point. In my (beleaguered) understanding, the difference is that different powers are reserved to (for) the states than the Fed. The honest reality is that the original piece of Federal gun legislation is unconstitutional at its very core, as is every subsequent Federal gun law on the books...

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