Did a court kill Columbus effort for local gun control?

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On Thursday, we noted that the city of Columbus, Ohio sought to take advantage of a judge’s ruling. The judge’s injunction basically blocked the state’s preemption law, and that meant the city was free to pass its own local gun laws.


However, it seems the judge had other plans.

Columbus city officials said Wednesday that they intend to act quickly to pass new gun-control legislation after a Franklin County judge last week blocked part of a state law that prohibited cities from having more-stringent restrictions than the state, saying it violated the state’s constitution.

“Even if the window is brief, we will be damned if we don’t use it,” City Council President Shannon Hardin said.

But before the dust had settled, the window of opportunity had closed again on Thursday, when Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Stephen L. McIntosh, the same judge who granted a preliminary injunction against the state law that prompted the city to act, stayed his own ruling pending appeal at the request of Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.

That puts a hold on the proposed new city restrictions that would prohibit large-caliber ammunition magazines containing more than 30 rounds by ordinary citizens, require the safe storage of firearms when minors could reasonably be in danger of handling them, and prohibit “straw men” gun sales, where people who can legally purchase firearms do so for those who can’t.

Of course, straw purchases are already illegal, so that was just Columbus officials wanting to pass it for the sake of passing it. The other two are especially problematic, though, because neither does anything to inhibit criminals but can turn otherwise law-abiding citizens into criminals.


The bad guys will get whatever magazines they want. Local ordinances aren’t even a real inconvenience to them. They just go outside of town and buy these things as they wish.

It’s just the law-abiding who get hammered.

Of course, the state plans an appeal and that’s what led to the injunction of the judge’s own stay. This is, of course, fairly normal. The only unusual thing here is that Columbus sought to enact a bunch of gun control while preemption was down.

In that way, they were like the kid who decided to throw a party while his parents were out of town for the weekend.

Only it seems the parents came home early.

That’s good news for the people of Columbus. They deserve better than this, even if they elected it. However, I think it’s safe to say many of those who these proposals would have impacted didn’t actually vote for this particular gaggle of jackwagons.

Still, it looks like their attempted shenanigans are thwarted, at least for now, even though Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein is insisting that the stay doesn’t have any impact on the pending gun laws.


You can read the judge’s order for yourself here, but it looks like Klein is misreading what the judge had to say. Yes, the judge stayed any more proceedings until the appeals court issues its own ruling on the judge’s preliminary injunction, but the order also explicitly states that the state of Ohio’s request to stay the preliminary injunction, not just the proceedings, has been granted.

The ironic thing is that there’s nothing stopping them from launching an education campaign to advise people to secure their guns. There’s little to prevent them from creating a program that would help people buy safes and gun locks. There are things they can do right here, right now, that would yield real benefits.

They just won’t do them because they don’t care about that. They just want to restrict guns and your right to own them.

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