I’ve said before that whenever any government at any level passes a new gun control law, that law needs to be challenged immediately in a court of law. It needs to become so standard that communities looking at pushing anti-gun measures down people’s throats will also start to account for the legal costs before passing any such measure.
Luckily, this is already happening.
Gun rights activists in Ohio are suing the cities of Columbus and Cincinnati over recently enacted gun regulations that they regard as an “abuse of power.”
The lawsuits, filed by Ohioans for Concealed Carry and the Buckeye Firearms Foundation, maintains that the gun regulations violate state pre-emption laws, the Columbus Dispatch reported.
“This will be the seventh and eighth time we have had to bring legal action against municipalities,” Gary Witt, with Ohioans for Concealed Carry, told FOX 28 in Columbus. “We will win again.”
But proponents say the regulations are “reasonable.”
“We are vigorously going to defend them,” City Attorney Zach Klein said.
In May, Cincinnati became the first city in Ohio to ban bump stocks, attachments that make a sem-automatic weapon fire like a machine gun.
That same month, Columbus approved a broad package of regulations to ban bump stocks, make carrying a gun while under disability a misdemeanor, and prohibit brandishing imitation firearms in public, among other items.
The thing is, preemption is preemption. If the state says cities can’t make gun laws, then it doesn’t matter just how “reasonable” you think the laws in question are. You simply can’t do it.
Now, let’s look at these laws for a moment.
Bump stocks have been a focus since Las Vegas, but prior to that, most Americans were ignorant of their existence. That’s because they aren’t used in crimes. They’re not favored by gangs, organized crime, or any other violent faction of American life. In other words, prior to October 1, 2017, they weren’t on anyone’s radar because they were basically ammo-wasting toys.
Carrying a gun while under “disability” seems to be a case of a city trying to make a law that mirror’s the state’s to throw on a charge for those arrested. The term “disability” here doesn’t involve someone in a wheelchair or anything like that, thankfully. Instead, it covers people under indictment or convicted of a felony, a fugitive, someone with a chronic chemical dependence issue, or someone mentally adjudicated as being unfit to own a firearm. But this is a law that already exists in Ohio, and thus, isn’t needed.
Brandishing firearms is another subject, though, and one should never brandish a firearm, which is generally meant to mean a weapon is held out of its holster in public when not needed for self-defense. It’s also already illegal.
So, in other words, there’s little to nothing being accomplished by two of these laws except, possibly, to raise a little revenue off of people arrested for breaking these state laws. The third is the real crux of the issue.
However, pro-gun forces in Ohio have an idea of just what the real motivations might be.
These lawsuits are not about the bump stock per se, it’s about the rule of law in Ohio,” [Dean Rieke, executive director of the Buckeye Firearms Association] told WOSU Radio in Columbus. “Because it’s our belief that they’re passing these laws as a test to see what they can get away with.”
I can’t say that I disagree. Float a few laws that they don’t think will be too controversial, and if they get away with it, they’ll probably float a few more. Before long, Ohio’s preemption law will be meaningless.
Which I suspect is kind of the point.