Ohio’s plea for a preliminary injunction to stop the city of Columbus’ most recent gun control measures was denied by a court in Fairfield County.
According to Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein, the restrictions are now in place as of midnight on January 21st.
“Today, the rule of law prevailed, and the biggest winners are the residents of Columbus who want nothing more than to take commonsense and reasonable steps to reduce the scourge of gun violence in our neighborhoods and keep our kids and communities safe,” Klein said.
The Columbus City Council passed legislation on December 5th, 2022, prohibiting civilians to own large-capacity magazines with 30 or more rounds. The legislation also imposes fines on gun owners who store their weapons in places where children can access them or who sell a firearm to someone who cannot own one.
The court issued a temporary restraining order, and on January 12th a hearing was scheduled for the state’s application for a preliminary injunction to stop the actions.
According to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, the new law violates the Ohio Constitution’s right to keep and bear arms.
“This request of the court is strictly a matter of the law as state law supersedes what Columbus is attempting to do here. The city has knowingly and deliberately overstepped its legislative authority,” Yost said.
Yost says that the city’s requirements are unreasonable because they make it a crime for people to fail to conceal their firearms in places where even their teenage children couldn’t find them and because they make it impossible for someone to use a firearm for self-defense even if a child lives in the home.
Berens claimed that denying the injunction would not cause the state irreparable harm. According to him, given the present holding of the Ohio Supreme Court, the state had not shown that it would be likely to demonstrate that it would be able to establish a violation of constitutional rights.
“The Ohio legislature enacted statewide firearm preemption in 2007 and it clearly forbids cities and other political subdivisions from regulating firearms, their components, ammunition, and knives. And we continue to believe Columbus has no legal authority in this matter. So far, the rulings have been procedural and the case is far from over. Mayor Ginther and City Attorney Klein know this and are using this political charade to deflect blame for crime under their watch. City leaders know who is responsible for their violent crime because they issued a report in 2021 pointing to 17 gangs and 480 members of those gangs. Why aren’t they using this information to tackle crime directly instead of passing new gun laws criminals won’t obey?” Buckeye Firearms Association Executive Director Dean Rieck said.
Rieck said that he remains convinced that these ordinances violate Ohio’s preemption laws found in Ohio Revised Code 9.68 which forbid political subdivisions from regulating firearms, their components, ammunition, and knives.
“We are certain that if this case reaches the Ohio Supreme Court, which has already ruled that preemption is valid law, the Columbus ordinances will be struck down,” Rieck said.
Yost’s spokesperson Bethany McCorkle told The Ohio Star that “We will seek appellate review in the decision and are reviewing the appropriate mechanisms to do so.”
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