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.