Buckeye Firearms Foundation Sues Cleveland To Stop Enforcement Of Unconstitutional Gun Laws
Buckeye Firearms Foundation Ohio – -(OutdoorWire.com)- An Ohio not-for profit foundation, filed a lawsuit against the City of Cleveland on Tuesday (case number CV-09-685734) in the Common Pleas Court of Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
The suit seeks a temporary restraining order and permanent injunction to stop the City of Cleveland from prosecuting law-abiding gun owners under local ordinances that restrict gun ownership and concealed carry.
The lawsuit also asks the Court to declare 20 different local ordinances unconstitutional on the grounds of state preemption of firearm laws.
HB347, the preemption law, became effective in March of 2007. It replaces a patchwork of varied and confusing local rules with “uniform laws throughout the state regulating the ownership, possession, purchase, other acquisition, transport, storage, carrying, sale, or other transfer of firearms, their components, and their ammunition.”
The legislature recognized that, like motor vehicle laws, it makes sense for firearms laws to be uniform throughout the state. Because local laws can only carry misdemeanor penalties, and almost every crime committed with a gun is a felony under state or federal law, the local laws were almost never used to charge criminals and instead served to disarm the crime victims. In Cleveland, gun ordinances have been used for political or philosophical reasons and had the effect of harassing law-abiding citizens.
The issue of statewide preemption was challenged by the City of Clyde and the case went all the way to the Ohio Supreme Court. In its decision, the Ohio Supreme Court upheld the state preemption law. Cleveland recently suffered a further setback when they lost the trial stage of their lawsuit against Ohio, which sought to overturn preemption.
In spite of having no authority to enforce local laws restricting firearm ownership, the City of Cleveland has continued to charge and aggressively prosecute individuals who have committed no crime. Mayor Jackson has ordered his police to continue enforcing the preempted gun laws.
While the city desperately needs to do a better job prosecuting criminals, they have instead focused on persecuting gun owners. This sort of discrimination is unacceptable and the courts should quickly issue an injunction stopping Cleveland from this unlawful behavior.
Other named defendants include Mayor Frank Jackson, Law Director Robert J. Triozzi, Chief of Police Mike McGrath, Director of Public Safety Martin Flask, Administrative Judge Ronald B. Adrine and David Whitehead, President of Cleveland Metroparks.
Other Plaintiffs include Jim Irvine, President of Buckeye Firearms Foundation and Gilbert Croteau, a Cleveland resident.
“The Mayor said, ‘I don’t care what state law is.’ We say, ‘Tell it to the judge,'” said Jim Irvine. “We are a nation of laws, not of men. But apparently the men running our city don’t think rules apply to them.
“The vast majority of police officers support a citizen’s right to keep and bear arms. It’s unfortunate that these fine men and women have to report to a Chief who is defying the law,” Irvine continued.
Buckeye Firearms Foundation is a sister organization to Buckeye Firearms Association, a grassroots political action committee (PAC) dedicated to defending and advancing the right of Ohio citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities, including self-defense, hunting, competition, and recreation.
Buckeye Firearms Association is recognized throughout Ohio and nationwide as a strong advocate for Second Amendment rights and has been named Grassroots Organization of the Year by the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and awarded Volunteer Organization of the year by the NRA Institute for Legislative Action.