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City of Oberlin sued by Ohio gun rights group

Last month, I posted about a gathering I attended in Oberlin to protest the city’s illegal gun laws which prohibit the carrying of firearms in the city’s parks.

Oberlin is one of the most liberal towns in Ohio. Barack Obama won in Oberlin with 90% of the vote and it’s home to equally liberal Oberlin College. They still subscribe to the false belief that laws banning guns make them safer, and have one on the books banning guns in Oberlin City Parks. Brian Kuzawa has informed City Council that their law is preempted by Ohio Revised Code and that they need to change it.

Anti-gun Oberlin residents (right) debating with gun owners

Anti-gun Oberlin residents (right) debating with gun owners

At a subsequent city council meeting, council very reluctantly voted 4-3 to amend the law and it was widely reported the guns were now allowed in city parks.

However, Oberlin didn’t really deal with the problem. Instead of removing the word “firearm” from their list of banned items, they amended the law to prohibit “unlawful” firearms and do not specify what “unlawful” means.

As a result, Ohioans for Concealed Carry is following through with a lawsuit against the city of Oberlin.

Today Ohioans For Concealed Carry filed a lawsuit in Lorain County seeking to compel the City of Oberlin to comply with state law. Contrary to what you may have read in the news the City of Oberlin’s recent legislation to “allow guns in parks” did not comply with state law. State law prohibits a city such as Oberlin from regulating the possession, transfer, or transaction of firearms.

Oberlin’s “fix” was to illegally prohibit possession of “unlawful” firearms — which remain undefined in the ordinance. Despite OFCC addressing council and telling them what they were about to do was illegal they proceeded anyway in a 4-3 vote.

In an email to Third Base Politics, OFCC Director Gary Witt explained,

The state does not say legal firearm, illegal firearm, silly firearm or any other type of firearm. The word illegal is vague and meaningless.
The Ohio Revised Code regulates possession. No matter how Oberlin tries to word their ordinance they are still prohibiting possession which is in violation of ORC 9.68.

The Ohio Supreme Court, in rendering it’s decision in The City of
Cleveland, Appellee, v. The State of Ohio, Appellant, states in part of
its conclusion (paragraph 35) that “We hold that R.C. 9.68 is a general
law that displaces municipal firearm ordinances
and does not
unconstitutionally infringe on municipal home rule authority”.

Indeed. Being the liberals that they are, (they fly the United Nations flag in the center of town) Oberlin city council still thinks that they have the authority to regulate firearms, even though Ohio state law and the Ohio Supreme Court make it very clear that they do not.

They just couldn’t bring themselves to get rid of a law banning guns. Somehow, keeping some sort of gun ban on the books makes them feel “safer”, like the false sense of “security” ignorant shopkeepers feel when posting a “no guns” sign on their door.

Now it may cost them in an expensive legal battle. We will keep you up to date as the situation progresses. Donations can be made to OFCC in support of their effort at their website.

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Third Base Politics is an Ohio-centric conservative blog that has been featured at Hot Air, National Review, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and others.


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