Skip to comments.Cincinnati police chief advises staff of legality regarding open carry of a firearm in Ohio
Posted on 08/29/2012 8:37:23 AM PDT by marktwain
In the July 3, 2012 Cincinnati Police Department Staff Notes, CPD Chief James E. Craig took the opportunity to inform his department on the law regarding open carry of a firearm in Ohio.
From the document:
3. LAW DEPARTMENT MEMO ON OPEN CARRY OF A FIREARM IN OHIO
Ohio law permits the open carry of a firearm with few exceptions. Citizens may openly carry firearms in public places unless there is a specific prohibition against carrying a firearm in that place (police station, school safety zone, courthouse, etc.).
Since Cleveland v. State of Ohio, 2010-Ohio-6318, regulation of the "ownership, possession, purchase, other acquisition, transport, storage, carrying, sale, or other transfer of firearms, their components, and their ammunition" is only done by state and federal law. Local municipal laws may only regulate the discharge of firearms. Therefore, officers should not charge individuals with violations of the Cincinnati Municipal Code unless the ordinance deals with the discharge of a firearm.
Many people worry when they see someone openly carrying a gun. Officers can expect to receive calls when this happens. But, openly carrying a firearm, by itself, is not illegal. The fact that someone has called 911 or flagged down an officer about seeing someone with a gun in public is probably not enough to support an investigative detention. In such situations, an officer must observe the subject and evaluate the totality of circumstances to determine whether reasonable suspicion exists to justify detaining the individual. If the individual is doing nothing else that arouses suspicion, simply wearing a gun will not justify a detention.
It is important to note, open carry by itself also would not support a charge of Disorderly Conduct or Inducing Panic. There must be additional facts to support these offenses. If someone is lawfully carrying a firearmand doing nothing else the fact that it causes alarm to others does not support a charge.
Equally important, before you charge someone with a violation of Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 2921.29, Failure to Disclose Personal Information (also referred to as the "Stop and I.D." law), you first must have reasonable suspicion that person has, is, or is about to commit a criminal offense. The "Stop and I.D." law does not apply unless you already have a valid investigative detention of the person and open carry by itself is not enough. Citizens may ignore your request for information during a consensual encounter, so you may only charge a citizen with a violation of ORC 2921.29 when they are legally detained.
Private businesses or property owners may prohibit all firearms on their property. They may post signs prohibiting firearms or they may order a person to leave for such behavior. Criminal Trespass is the appropriate charge if a person is on private property in violation of such a prohibition.
Direct any questions regarding this issue to Mr. Peter Stackpole, or Mr. Charlie Rubenstein, Law Department, at 352-3334.
Buckeye Firearms Association is pleased to see this accurate address of the legality of open carry and issues regarding law enforcement interaction with a person who is openly carrying a firearm. Judging by the number of poor examples of law enforcement response around Ohio in the past, police chiefs across the Buckeye state would do well to distribute this among their staff far and wide.
Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.
He must have some power-tripping oppressors in his force. Respect my authoritay types.
But it sounds like a fairly decent letter of instruction to his officers. He’s taking a proactive step against any possbile abuses, so he’s to be commended.
Oh, I agree....a commendable act and he is doing the right thing. I cannot, however, disregard the fact that too many police departments do not evaluate their candidates fully where they could exclude the rambos, authority types, and the odd power tripper cops. There are just too many of them out there.
Yep, every agency has them. If we didn’t need so many police, the screening could be alot better. But again, liberals and democrats have sold the nation a bill of goods that we need as many police as we do.
We must also recognize that in every community there are vociferous anti-gun types who would have a stroke at the sight of another citizen openly carrying and DEMAND that something be done, to include violation of another citizen’s rights, to stop such activity. Some of those ant-gunners are very influential, connected and involved with local government. They are just as passionate about their beliefs and not afraid to rally support and make their views heard at city council meetings or by written complaint to head officials.
Their personal intensity does not leave a whole lot of room for recognition of the 2A.
I would advise one addition to this memo, that if the person who made a complaint is still available, the officer should advise them that the person carrying the gun is not inherently violating the law, and should not be reported to the police unless they are doing something else that is unlawful or suspicious.
The reason for this is that there are a goodly number of fools out there who do not understand what the purpose of an LEO is. Many believe that “if they call a cop on someone, that person will be arrested”, so will keep calling if the officer does not arrest the person they want arrested.
Even worse, it the officer does not arrest the legal gun carrier, the fool might decide that the gun carrier is about to commit a crime so must be stopped.
(Much of this I blame on Hollywood, as they often only use props that are part of the plot, otherwise leaving them out so that they are not distracting to the scene. Thus if you see guns, guns will be used. If you see a fire extinguisher, etc.)
I live near a tiny town...One early morning on my way to work..at 0445 I was on my way to the corner store for a cup of Joe. I turned on Main St...doing the speed limit..saw a city cop car coming the other direction..he passed me, then flipped a u-turn and started following me. Then lit me up...I pulled over in a small parking lot. Got out with my wallet in my hand..and walked back to the rear of my truck. He had all his lights on me...I couldn't see anything. He proceeds to yell out..."You pulling down on me!?!?" I said..."What"??? Half laughing...Then he yelled, "You throwing down on me?" I had my hands up..with my wallet in my hand still. He finally came up to me...and told me he pulled me over..because I had my FOG LIGHTS on. Never asked for my license or anything else. I thanked him...and went and got my coffee.
Told the old geezers at the corner store..what happened. They all knew who the guy was. He's no longer a cop there. A real dip wad.
We needed this law a few months ago.
Any possible relation?
FINALLY, a top cop with an actual functioning brain who understands the law and grasps the madness of the times and that HONEST citizens have and need the ability to defend themselves.
The biggest problem I see with OPEN CARRY is that if a perp bent on murder spots the open carry citizen FIRST, that citizen will not doubt be his first victim. Of course, the perp just may find himself in a place with MULTIPLE OPEN CARRY folks, most of whom he DIDN’T spot in which case the NEXT few rounds would be headed HIS way.
What needs to be done when deciding to open carry, until such time the LOE’s really know what they are doing, is to have another person video the experience from a distance as evidence the LEO did or did not have the requisite reasons for stopping, ID’ing, etc.
Open carry is as much about defending your rights as defending yourself.