How dare the state of Ohio try to override gun control laws!
That is the message individual cities within the state are sending via a lawsuit claiming that home rule in the state constitution prevents the state legislature from negating their gun control laws.
Cincinnati is the latest city to join the suit.
House Bill 228, signed into law last year, expanded state law preempting cities and local governments from passing more restrictive gun laws. Cincinnati joins Columbus and other municipalities challenging the law.
Cincinnati argues the law violates home rule rights guaranteed in the Ohio Constitution, according to the complaint filed Thursday in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court.
The law is an “effort to silence local elected officials and the municipalities they represent, and it stands in the way of specific legislative steps that the city seeks to take to protect their cities from gun violence,” attorneys wrote in the complaint.
As the city governments are violating federal constitutional rights from a certain point of view, the state overriding them could well be considered in the citizens’ best interests.
But that isn’t stopping the powers that be in city government.
City officials say a “red flag” law, which allows courts to confiscate guns from people deemed dangerous to themselves or others, could prevent shootings such as the September 2018 shooting at Fifth Third Bank where three people died.
Possibly, but when guns are outlawed, only criminals have them, and criminals care nothing for law and order.
The reality is that the cities have already lost at least once in court over this matter.
Ohio’s local gun law preemption has been upheld in the courts. In February, a Hamilton County judge struck down a Cincinnati law banning “bump stocks,” a firearm accessory that enables guns to fire quicker.
The new law expands the state’s oversight of gun laws to include the “manufacturing, taxing, keeping, and reporting of loss or theft of firearms, their components, and their ammunition.”
The state is looking to make gun rights uniform across Ohio. City governments just want gun grabs. This is a conflict to watch.