In a move that has sent shock waves across Ohio, the City of Columbus has decided to ignore more than a decade of legislation and litigation in order to file a lawsuit to shred the Constitution and erase ALL gun rights statewide.
City of Columbus v. State of Ohio seeks to overturn ORC 9.68, a section of Ohio law commonly known as “preemption,” which prohibits cities from regulating firearms, their components, and their ammunition. The purpose of preemption is to avoid a confusing patchwork of laws and establish a single, consistent set of laws throughout the state.
If successful, this suit would effectively erase ALL the legislative progress for gun owners in recent years and, under the concept of “home rule,” open the door for nearly 2,300 cities, villages, and townships in Ohio to establish whatever firearms laws they choose, which could include anything up to and including outright gun bans.
Fighting these Second Amendment infringements would require ongoing lawsuits against each and every city that chose to pass unconstitutional laws. Gun owners in Ohio would be forced to play a never-ending game of whack-a-mole, assuming there were funds available to pay the endless legal fees.
Does this lawsuit actually have a chance? Given the long history of litigation supporting preemption, including a ruling by the Ohio Supreme Court, the lawsuit is unlikely to prevail. But there’s always a chance in any suit for a bad ruling. And the results could be catastrophic.
Who must respond to this lawsuit? Attorney General Dave Yost must defend the state and will be responsible for defending ORC 9.68 as the bulwark against the chaos of home rule in the matter of firearms.
Buckeye Firearms Association will discuss this case with the Attorney General and offer any assistance necessary. Stay tuned as this story develops.
Dean Rieck is Executive Director of Buckeye Firearms Association, a former competitive shooter, NRA Patron Member, #1 NRA Recruiter for 2013, business owner and partner with Second Call Defense.