Skip to comments.Trial begins in challenge to Ohio's concealed-weapons ban
Posted on 11/29/2001 5:27:29 AM PST by Deadeye Division
Trial begins in challenge to Ohio's concealed-weapons ban
Thursday, November 29, 2001
CINCINNATI (AP) -- A private investigator and other citizens who sued months ago to challenge Ohio's ban on carrying concealed weapons are to get their day in court today as their case goes to trial.
Judge Robert Ruehlman expects to hear at least two days of testimony in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court from gun-rights supporters in the case. The plaintiffs include the Second Amendment Foundation of Bellevue, Wash., which is paying for the lawsuit, and Ohioans for Concealed Carry. Defendants include Ohio, Cincinnati and Hamilton County, in which the city is located.
The defendants intend to defend the current state law vigorously, said Richard Ganulin, an assistant city solicitor. The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a Washington-based organization that supports gun control, is helping argue the city's position.
Last year, Ruehlman responded to the lawsuit by issuing a temporary order forbidding city police and the county sheriff from enforcing the ban. An appeals court overruled Ruehlman's order, freeing police to resume enforcing the law and sending the case to Ruehlman for trial.
Chuck Klein, a private investigator who filed the lawsuit and plans to testify in support of it, said yesterday he hopes the court action will prod the legislature into allowing citizens to obtain permits for carrying hidden weapons.
An Ohio House committee is considering legislation that would allow most Ohioans to carry hidden guns. The proposal is considered unlikely to come to a floor vote before January.
Klein has been joined in the lawsuit by a pizza-delivery business owner, a fitness trainer, a hair stylist, a factory worker and several others who say they need to carry weapons for self- defense. They say they do business in higher- crime neighborhoods, sometimes after dark and when they are alone.
Ohio law allows only law-enforcement officials or officers of the state and federal government to carry concealed weapons. Klein and other plaintiffs say the law violates the Ohio Constitution by forcing people arrested for carrying a concealed gun to clear themselves by justifying their possession of a weapon.
Forty-three states allow some form of carrying concealed weapons.
Some of those states require permits, firearms training or police approval before a handgun can be obtained. Vermont does not require any license for carrying concealed weapons. Missouri voters in 1999 rejected a ballot issue that would have legalized carrying concealed weapons in that state.
Kentucky and Indiana, which are neighbors to Hamilton County, allow people to carry concealed weapons.
The State Highway Patrol is among the police organizations opposing a conceal-and-carry law.
Concealed handguns -- or, just the possibility that they're around -- are for making a perp think twice about doing his dirty deeds. And, if he still makes the wrong choice, they're for taking him out before he does too much.
Don your asbestos suit, my friend. You're gonna get royally flamed, and rightfully so.
Paranoid wimps like elderly people, those in wheelchairs, and single women, all of which would be at the mercy of one or several strong men, except by having concealed handguns.
Concealed handguns are dandy for those of us who want to exercise our 2nd amendment rights without unduly alarming the other folks in the office. If some nutcase starts going off at work, in a shopping mall, or elsewhere, I don't want to figure out "how am I gonna get that Armalite outta the trunk of the car?" I want to be able to defend myself on the spot.
While I personally favor the idea of my wife taking the kids shopping with her 870 slung over her shoulder, it would make other shoppers nervous in a way that a Glock under her coat would not.
Finally, concealed carry laws are a force multplier. They create an important element of uncertainty for those who would prey on the citizenry. If 5% of the sheep are armed, but the wolf doesn't know which ones, he will look for another pen to raid.
The current law was enacted in the late 1800's primarily to deny blacks and Irish immigrants the ability to carry a concealed firearm.
The statute allows for some rather capricious enforcement by the police and judiciary. The language includes a reference to going armed "where a prudent man would do so". I think if it's argued on the basis of equal protection the constitutionalists will win.
Another option is an open carry but doing so results in an arrest for "brandishing a weapon" or "inciting public panic" or "menacing".
I'm an Ohioan, am familiar with the situation - I am not just popping off here.
The NRA has been involved with trying to change the Ohio Constitution's guarantee to carry arms to a permit system. (Wouldn't the newspaper folks love to apply for a license to write editorials?)
Rank and file police are FOR concealed carry. The police leadership is against it, citing that it makes the police officer's job more dangerous. An interesting argument but the police are trained to treat every traffic stop as if there were a firearm involved anyways.
Meanwhile, I see more and more off-duty police as security guards at grocery stores and shopping malls. That's in addition to the security in the malls that we don't regularly see.
When I start seeing that type of situation I think it should cause a rational person to think "Is there some sort of crime problem at this store or shopping area?" I've wanted to ask the store manager more than once a) if there's a problem that I should be aware of and b) should I bring my own firearm to increase my ability to protect myself and my family?
How does a concealed gun make a perp think anything? It's concealed.
He thinks "Oh $#!+, I just made a big mistake!!!!" when he suddenly finds himself looking down the barrel of a ".45". The last thing to pass through his mind is frequently a little pice of copper jacketed lead. It tends to reduce recidivism. I thought you were smarter than this, wonk. Did you accidentally leave you account open in the presence of a bunch of complete morons?
I very often forget that not everyone lives in as nice a town as I. Even here in CR I don't like my wife to go to the grocery store after hours, it just isn't prudent to allow that anywhere.
The 2nd ammendment's most important job IMHO is to keep Taliban type things from happening in the USA. No Government is going to be able to strongarm the citizens if they all have rifles and shotguns. The conceal and carry issue is a much less important one. I can't think of anything to say to describe those many people out there I don't want to see carrying a gun, or even driving a car for that matter that wouldn't sound clichet, but maybe saying that makes my point.
Well, there you go again. Your paranoia is showing. "They're everywhere out there and I can't walk through the mall without getting mugged raped and generally teased for being white."
The first responses were so mature and were a credit to my fellow pro 2nd ammendment people. Then you showed up.
It is far better to be judged by twelve Ohioans than carried by six.
O, BTW: practice with it. Be able to get it out fast, shoot fast, and hit a tin can at 25 paces. Remember the perps always have the advantage, so be aware, and stay alive.
As I said, "just the possibility that they're around " is key. Crime plummetted in FL a couple years ago after concealed-carry got easier. The perps didn't see any more weapons. They just knew that the good people of FL had applied and received the permits in droves.
From your #12: I can't think of anything to say to describe those many people out there I don't want to see carrying a gun,
Was it easy for Dianne Feinstein to take over your brain? ;-)
I argue that there shouldn't need to be *any* law that prohibits me from being able to protect myself and my family once we set foot off of our property.
The police to a good job but they are not everywhere. If they were it would be a police state.
The Bill of Rights needs to be seen in the context that it was written - it's not a list of things that the government *can* do, it's a list of things that government *can't* do. That's why the ability to defend our lives from those who want to steal and murder is an inalienable right that comes from God, not from any government.
A government that purports to maintain that position is the definition of tyranny.
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