Ohio Supreme Court rejects Cleveland effort to set own gun laws

An attempt by Cleveland to set its own red tape gun laws has been stymied by the courts. (Dave Workman)

The Ohio State Supreme Court this week did something that anti-gun politicians in Washington State should pay attention to, turning away a city’s appeal in an effort to create its own gun control law, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Cleveland.com.

The Buckeye State’s high court on Wednesday declined to hear an appeal from the City of Cleveland contesting a lower court ruling that prevented the city from adopting its own gun law, in this case the creation of a “gun offender registry.” This is important because the arguments used by Cleveland officials sound similar to arguments by Seattle city officials who want the Washington Legislature to surrender its authority over gun laws in the Evergreen State.

When the Washington State Senate held a hearing on one bill, SB 6146, interim Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best testified in favor. Local gun prohibition groups contend that police want local control because they know what their communities need.

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Back in Cleveland, according to US News, Mayor Frank Jackson was “disappointed” by the Supreme Court’s ruling because the “lower court ruling weakens cities’ home rule powers and efforts to protect citizens.”

Gun rights activists contend this is really about the desire of anti-gun local officials wanting the power to create a patchwork of conflicting and confusing gun laws that seem to entrap honest people but do nothing about crime.

In April 2017, Ohio’s 8th District Court of Appeals ruled that a “package” of Cleveland ordinances that had been proposed by Jackson were invalid, the Plain Dealer recalled. Mayor Jackson was quoted by the newspaper contending, “The laws the city proposed and that were enacted by our City Council are reasonable and do not conflict with any state gun regulations.”

That’s the position all gun control proponents take, even when discussing gun bans. They are “reasonable.”

Back in Seattle, the city was furious when the Washington State Supreme Court declined to hear the city’s appeal of a lawsuit it lost over an attempt to ban guns in city park facilities. A lawsuit filed by the heavy hitters of gun rights – the Second Amendment Foundation, National Rifle Association and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, along with a local organization and five citizens – beat the city at the trial court level. The state Court of Appeals ruled unanimously against the city’s first appeal. The proposed ban, disguised as an administrative parks regulation rather than an ordinance, violated the state’s 35-year-old preemption statute.

A similar preemption statute was adopted some years ago by the Ohio General Assembly, and other states have passed similar laws, many of them patterned after Washington’s preemption statute.

Gun prohibitionists in Ohio, Washington and other states dislike state preemption laws because such statutes prevent anti-gunners from essentially creating fiefdoms of gun control. Gun owners, meanwhile, support such laws because they assure uniformity from border to border in the states.

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