Cincinnati is suing Ohio over a law it believes prevents the city from implementing gun-control legislation.
“This complaint alleges that the State of Ohio acted unconstitutionally and illegally by enacting a punitive firearms preemption law … that imposes substantial sanctions on municipalities that enact or do not repeal ordinances found to be preempted by Ohio state law even if the ordinance is not currently enforced,” the complaint filed Thursday said.
House Bill 228 deters Ohio cities from passing gun-control legislation. Also, the law gives more protections to people in self-defense cases by shifting the burden of proof from the plaintiff to the prosecutor.
Previously, Cincinnati tried to impose a bump-stock ban, but it was blocked in the court system based on House Bill 228. The complaint said Cincinnati has seen 1,772 victims of “gun violence.
“The City … is ready and willing to enact common-sense gun regulations to stem the tide of violence, yet state law has unconstitutionally infringed upon the City’s right to do so,” the city’s complaint said.
The lawsuit believes the law violates the Ohio Constitution’s separation of powers and home-rule rights clauses.
“The Ohio Constitution allows cities to govern themselves, it’s the principle of home rule,” Assistant City Solicitor Emily Smart Woerner told WVXU. “So, what this lawsuit seeks to do is to vindicate the city’s constitutionally protected right to govern itself and to enact common-sense gun legislation.”
Cincinnati joins Columbus and several other cities in suing Ohio over the same law.
At a Thursday press conference announcing the lawsuit, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley blamed the NRA for preventing his city from implementing gun laws that “protect its citizens,” according to WLWT5.
“Increasingly, through the power of the NRA’s influence, this democracy is being taken away,” Cranley said.
Cranley told the Huffington Post the saying that “the government closest to the people is the best government” is no longer a conservative philosophy.
“Now, increasingly, right wing and NRA activists are having state and federal governments take away local control of local values which support … reasonable policies about extreme risk protection orders, red flag laws, background checks, etc,” he said.
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