Written By: Ishton W. Morton – June: 7th, 2019
On Friday June 7th, 2019 in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Cincinnati Mayor John-Cranley filed a lawsuit against the state of Ohio alleging that Ohio’s House Bill 228 violates the ostensible “home rule” rights of municipalities.
Accordingly, the city alleges that HB 228 violates the separation of powers spelled out in the state constitution and that the state “acted unconstitutionally and illegally when they enacted punitive firearms preemption law.”
Also, these rights are spelled out in the Ohio Constitution and guarantees that towns, cities and other local governments can pass laws as deemed necessary.
Nonetheless, there seems to be a lingering question. Can Ohio cities pass gun control laws stricter than the state’s? Seemingly, that question will be decided by courts.
Accordingly, House Bill (HB) 228, was passed by Ohio Lawmakers in December of 2018 and expressly prohibits cities from passing gun-related regulations.
Cranley contended that HB 228 prevents cities from passing meaningful laws that will genuinely facilitate cities with reduce gun violence.
Furthermore, the city contends in its legal filing reference last fall’s mass shooting at Fountain Square as an example.
It is believed that there is much merit to Mayor John-Cranley contentions. To a great extent, many elected officials are carrying large buckets of water for the National Rifle Association of America. Moreover, it is believe if elected officials would come together as one and refused campaign funding from the NRA things would be different.
According to court records, three people were killed in that attack before police fatally shot the gunman, who carried out the carnage with a legally-obtained 9 mm pistol.
Also, the city has seen other mass-shootings, including a horrific outbreak of violence at Cameo Nightclub in 2017. That shooting killed two people and injured more than a dozen.
Subsequently, there could be legal challenges to HB 228 because last May city council passed a ban on bump stocks, or accessories that can make assault rifles fire at a faster rate. This is of significant relevant to Cincinnati.
Cincinnati Mayor John-Cranley could be in for a big fight. Reportedly, last summer a Franklin County judge ruled that a similar Columbus, Ohio bump stock ban was unenforceable under Ohio law in place prior to the passage of HB 228. It is unclear what is meant by this ruling.
Incidentally, the City of Cincinnati is no alone. Including Columbus, Ohio other Ohio cities have sued the state over HB 228. They all could not be wrong.