Skip to comments.Sheriff sues state over gun permits (OH)
Posted on 04/12/2007 10:32:38 AM PDT by neverdem
Law requires names of applicants to be given to journalists
ELYRIA County Sheriff Phil Stammitti sued Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann on Wednesday, asking a county judge to declare unconstitutional a 2004 state law that requires Stammitti to provide the names of those who apply for concealed carry permits to journalists.
The lawsuit also asks the court to determine whether Ohioans for Concealed Carry President Jeff Garvas, who also is named in the suit, is a journalist.
Stammitti wants county Common Pleas Judge James Miraldi, who was assigned the case, to decide whether he should be allowed to disclose the names and other information of permit holders to anyone, including journalists.
The law currently allows the release of the names and other information on permit holders only to journalists. Stammittis lawsuit was sparked by a Feb. 26 letter from Garvas that requested the information, arguing that a journalist is anyone who disseminates information to the general public. One of his jobs, Garvas wrote, is to provide news in a quarterly newsletter and on the organizations Web site.
This isnt the first time, Garvas said, that hes has been sued for requesting the information on concealed weapon permit holders from a county sheriff. Sheriffs in Clermont, Erie and Mercer counties already have filed similar suits in an effort to determine whether Garvas is entitled to the information.
Garvas said a Mercer County judge declared he was a journalist. The other two lawsuits havent been resolved. Stammitti contends that hes being asked to differentiate between journalists and non-journalists when it comes to what information he can release, and that the law violates provisions of the Constitution.
Stammitti, the lawsuit says, could face criminal or civil sanctions for making the wrong call when deciding who is a journalist.
County Prosecutor Dennis Will, who sent a letter to Garvas saying he does not believe he qualifies as a journalist, said the law is unclear and needs to be clarified.
What we need is a definitive answer so its clear-cut for the sheriff, he said.
Garvas said hes less interested in getting the information than getting the laws changed to prevent anyone from learning the identities of those who have a concealed carry permit.
Id rather be told I cant have it because nobody can have it than get the information I requested, he said. How often are you named in a lawsuit you want to lose?
The law, Garvas said, is vague and unreasonably difficult because on one hand it says journalists can have access to the information, but on the other hand it says sheriffs may not create a list of who has a permit. Danns office had no comment on the lawsuit and Strickland spokesman Keith Dailey also declined to comment on the specifics of the lawsuit. But Dailey said Strickland opposes allowing anyone including journalists to review who has a permit.
The governors a strong supporter of the right to bear arms, Dailey said.
Stammitti did not return calls seeking comment. Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or email@example.com.
I can’t stand governor Dumba$$! Please let him only last one term!
A sheriff is the highest elected law enforcement officer in any Ohio county. The voters can agree with him or not at the ballot box.
mark for an Ohioian with a concealed carry permit.
I assume there's also a law requiring names of those who have had abortions to be given to journalists?
Privacy is privacy. PERIOD!
Really? I'm a hard-core GOPer (except for the worst of the R-INOs), and frankly, Strickland has been better than Taxt in just about every way so far, esp. on right to bear arms issues. In fact, Strickland (D-OH) is MUCH better on these issues that Taxt (R-INO, nowhere) ever was.
Funny story about that: The Ohio legislature passed a bill to do away with local gun laws (too patchwork). Taxt vetoed it. Strickland said "don't worry, when I'm sworn in, I'll sign it." Kudos there. Then the legislature said "Thanks, but we're going to override the veto anyways just to kick Taxt in the ### on the way out the door." It was a good couple of days for the right to bear arms crowd!
PS Yeah, Strickland is a Democrat, so true to form he is doing a lot that I disagree with, but not as much as Taxt did...
I truly beleive that he is mildly retarded! I am a highschool teacher and he spoke at our Honor America assembly three years ago. What an idiot! I was embarrassed for him! We had three WWII vets walk across our stage and present the American and Ohio flags. The third vet carried a rifle. Teddy commented in his speach that the vets were so old that he was afraid that they were going to trip and fall during the presentation of the flags.
Hmmm, guess I just haven’t been paying enough attention to him. Still think that even if that’s the case, he’s better than Taxt. (Can you tell I REALLY didn’t like anti-gun tax-master Taxt? LOL)
Also, Dumba$$ used the word “plop” in a recent speech. He is probably the first governor ever to use the word “plop” at a formal engagement.
Ohio issues an abortion permit? Did not know that.
Residents should get a friendly legislator to introduce “Press and Reporting Licenses” for the state. Then, using the same logic, the home addresses of the reporters and publishers who are pushing this anti-gun agenda would be public domain.
The answer to this is so simple, I can’t believe noone else has come up with it.
Just shoot the journalists.
>>A sheriff is the highest elected law enforcement officer in any Ohio county.<<
Not to get technical, but the highest ranking elected law enforcement officer in an Ohio county is the prosecutor. As with the county sheriff and the deputies, the county prosecutors carry a badge and pack heat.
Well, I guess you have to inform the journalists the names of EVERY federal,state,county,and city law enforcement officer also as their employment includes concealed carry.
That is a dumb and pointless law. The information can only be released to journalists, who by definition are going to publish the information.
What is the point of allowing only journalists to receive and publish the information? Why are journalists given special priviledge to information that is withheld from general citizens.
What was the legislative rationale behind such a law? I don’t get it.
REQUIRE JOURNALISTS TO BE LICENSED!
Then, Sheriffs would know who in the state "has been granted the right" to publish news. The state could also charge a per-word publishing tax, raising desperately-needed income for the state. And a limit of one article per month per journalist. Of course, journalists would lose their license for the mere accusation of crimes like felonies, misdemeanors, traffic stops, hurting the feelings of our politicians.
I don't know. I don't live in Ohio, but if I had to guess, it was some liberal nonsense that was put in the bill to get concealed carry privileges. They only got them recently.