By Dean Weingarten
To allow such laws would make the exercise of second amendment rights a legal minefield, as it would be practically impossible to keep up with hundreds of variations in the law that could make a perfectly legal act on one side of the street a serious crime on the other side.
Cleveland challenged the law in 2010, claiming that “home rule” prevented the state from restraining the cities power. The Ohio supreme court upheld earlier rulings in favor of state authority to protect second amendment and state constitutional rights.
Many local governments continued to keep laws that infringed on second amendment rights on the books, producing a chilling effect on the exercise of those rights. A provision in the statute provided for the recovery of costs and attorney's fees when cities were sued, to provide incentive for them to follow the law.
Several cities changed their local ordinances as a result. But some cities learned to exercise a loophole in the law in order to discourage further lawsuits. They refused to change the law, fighting the effort in court until the last minute, wasting city resources and costing those challenging their illegal practices as much money as possible. Then, before a court ruling was made, they would repeal the statute, preventing the plaintiff from recouping any costs or attorney's fees.
As part of a number of reforms Ohio gun laws proposed in House Bill 203, the bill would change to law to close this loophole.
Once sued, cities would be subject to a $100 a day fee if they lost the lawsuit or repealed the ordinance.
While $100 a day is only a fraction of the cost of one city worker per day, it provides some reimbursement of the costs of funding the lawsuit and provides and incentive to prevent the city from delaying the action as long as possible.
Other reforms included in House Bill 203 include reform of Ohio self defense law to bring it into concurrence with most other states (Stand Your Ground provision), and reforms of the Ohio Concealed Carry permit law.
©2013 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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About Dean Weingarten;
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.