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Ohio Gun Laws: Can Towns and Cities Make Local Rules?

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By    |   Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 02:02 PM

The short answer to the question of whether municipalities can adopt ordinances in relation to Ohio’s gun laws is, “yes.” But the answers beyond that get far murkier, as evidenced by a recent series of decisions by state lawmakers.

While Ohio lawmakers have legislation in place that installs provisions around what steps need to be taken to lawfully obtain permits to bear arms, the cities and towns within Ohio can place narrow restrictions around gun laws, particularly when it comes to zoning related matters. From there, the issue gets far more complicated.

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In addition to zoning, Ohio municipalities have attempted to impose certain ordinances that can affect the rights of gun owners. Case in point: Cleveland Mayor Frank Johnson in 2014 proposed local legislation that would make it illegal for a person to purchase more than one gun every three months. Another change proposed by Johnson is the enactment of a gun registry.

Members of the Cleveland City Council have proposed other measures concerning local gun laws. A series of ordinances, for example, could require school officials to notify police officers and sheriff’s deputies when a weapon is found on a campus.

Not all Ohio municipalities have been successful in attempting to adopt ordinances that compliment — or, some would argue, thwart — the laws in place by decision-makers at the state capitol in Columbus.

In 2008, a small town in Sandusky County attempted, unsuccessfully, to place a ban on permit-holders’ abilities to carry firearms in parks. An ordinance was adopted for a short period of time, but eventually was shot down by the Ohio Supreme Court, a 4-3 decision.

Leaders in a number of larger Ohio municipalities took note. In a Columbus Dispatch article at the time of the ruling, Columbus City Attorney Richard Pfeiffer Jr. was quoted as saying, “This puts a pretty good crimp on what the city can do on the regulation of firearms.”

This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws before purchasing or traveling with a firearm.

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The short answer to the question of whether municipalities can adopt ordinances in relation to Ohio's gun laws is, "yes." But the answers beyond that get far murkier, as evidenced by a recent series of decisions by state lawmakers.
ohio, gun, laws, cities, local, rules
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2014-02-24
Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 02:02 PM
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