The idea of alcohol prohibition was settled almost a century ago when the Volstead Act was repealed by yet another constitutional amendment. It’s the only amendment that’s been passed, then repealed a short time later. In truth, prohibition was a complete and total disaster.
Luckily, we’ve left that behind. While some faiths take issue with alcohol consumption, that’s generally left to each individual to decide for themselves. Though, admittedly, there’s something to be said about using alcohol to combat some anti-gun arguments.
However, in Ohio, arguments are gearing up to determine whether drinking at home should make use of a firearm illegal.
The Ohio Supreme Court will hear arguments in February to decide whether a law prohibiting gun owners from carrying firearms while intoxicated should be applied inside a gun owner’s home.
Lawyers for a Clermont County man arrested in 2018 after he acknowledged having an unloaded shotgun while drunk say the law is unconstitutional when applied to homeowners.
They say a person’s sobriety or intoxication level should have nothing to do with possessing a weapon “in the hearth and home.”
And, honestly, they’re right.
Now, I’m a big believer in the idea that guns and alcohol don’t mix. I don’t recommend a range day with a cooler of beer and, in fact, will rail against it to anyone who cares to listen. It’s just a bad idea any way you slice it.
The thing is, though, you don’t forfeit your right to self-defense simply because you’ve had a few drinks.
A law that says possession of a firearm while above the legal alcohol limit essentially says that if you drink and your life is in danger, you’re slap out of luck because if you do use a firearm in self-defense, you could be prosecuted. Now, it’s better to be tried by 12 than carried by six, but that’s still not a good position to put anyone in.
That’s especially true since it’s possible to try and be responsible with your firearms and your drinking and still end up in a position like that.
Laws against carrying while drinking are predicated at least in part on the idea that you aren’t being responsible. Whether you agree or not is irrelevant. This is the law as it stands in Ohio and a lot of other places.
The problem is that it also regulates lawful behavior inside the home. After all, drinking at home is legal, as is carrying a firearm. It just says you can’t do both inside your home.
Normally, no one would know you did any such thing. The problem arises when you need to act in self-defense.
Frankly, that should never be an issue. While it’s unlikely that most prosecutors would make a stink over something like that–it doesn’t sound like the man in question was acting in such a manner–it doesn’t mean no one ever will. No one should be prosecuted for protecting their own life. Moreover, no one should have to be worried about it.
Let’s hope the Ohio State Supreme Court makes the right call on this one.