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Published: Wednesday, 9/26/2007

Ohio Supreme Court agrees to hear appeal of Clyde s firearms ordinance

BY JIM PROVANCE
BLADE COLUMBUS BUREAU

COLUMBUS - The Ohio Supreme Court is preparing to wade into the issue of guns.

The court this morning agreed to hear an appeal of an April ruling striking down the city of Clyde s ordinance prohibiting the carrying of firearms in public parks.

The Toledo-based 6th District Court of Appeals had ruled that the law conflicted with Ohio s concealed-carry laws, which do not include parks among on the public and private places where guns are off limits. House Bill 347, passed last December, expressly prohibits cities from enforcing gun laws deemed stricter than state and federal laws.

The appeals court ruling had overturned a prior Sandusky County Common Pleas decision upholding Clyde s ordinance. The ordinance had been challenged by Ohioans for Concealed Carry Inc.

House Bill 347 is currently being challenged separately by cities as violating their home-rule authority, but that issue is also likely to be raised in the Clyde case. The Supreme Court took up the home-rule issue last week in a pending case involving cities use of cameras to civilly cite motorists for red-light and speeding violations.

Gov. Bob Taft had vetoed the latest concealed-carry bill, which wiped out about 80 local laws restricting gun ownership, possession, sale, and storage. Lawmakers responded by handing him the one and only veto override of his administration.

The Supreme Court had previously refused to hear an appeal of a 2005 case in which local gun activist Bruce Beatty was convicted of openly defying a Toledo ordinance by carrying a holstered and loaded 45-caliber handgun into West Toledo s Ottawa Park. That case predated passage of House Bill 347.

Contact Jim Provance at: jprovance@theblade.com or 614-221-0496.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com.



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