Regarding Open Carry and Ohio's Gun Laws


 

Here's some background on Ohio laws and why we're in this mess at the Convention this week.

Why Ohio is considered an "open carry" state:

  1. Federal law does not prohibit open carrying of firearms.
  2. Ohio law does not prohibit open carrying of firearms.

So by default, we are an open carry state. Statements that refer to our "open carry laws" are inaccurate -- although simpler to understand. 

Also, please note, a permit is not needed to openly carry in Ohio. Unfortunately, Ohioans only need a permit to carry concealed. However, even open carry activists will advise to open carry with caution.

See here and here for more information.

Why Cleveland can't "just temporarily ban" open carry:

Because of the preemption law that was passed in 2006 and went in to effect in 2007, local policy makers cannot place further restrcitions on guns.

  1. Federal law does not prohibit open carrying of firearms.
  2. Ohio law does not prohibit open carrying of firearms.
  3. Because of preemption, only the State of Ohio can make laws that regulate open carry and Cleveland cannot pass more restrictive laws without an expensive legal battle. See here.

Why Governor Kasich can't "just temporarily ban" open carry:

Article 1 of the Ohio Constitution specifically limits the right to suspend laws to the legislature: "No power of suspending laws shall ever be exercised, except by the general assembly."

What needs to happen is for the General Assembly to come back from summer vacation, and they would have to suspend our preemption law -- remember, that's why Cleveland can't ban open carry -- and then Cleveland could restrict open carry at the convention. Governor Kasich could and should ask that they do so, but he cannot do this on his own.

The blame for this mess of a situation should be placed squarely on the shoulders of the gun lobby, the Ohio policy makers who supported for the disastrous preemption bill 10 years ago.

So will you sign our "Thanks for Nothing!" card to the gun lobby?

Sincerely,

Jennifer Thorne
Executive Director - Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence