Ohioans for Concealed Carry sued Oberlin on Tuesday, claiming the gun law passed last month violates state statute.
The complaint, filed in Lorain County Common Pleas Court, comes two weeks after a divided City Council voted in favor of rescinding a 1998 law that prohibited guns in public parks.
The suit puts the city in the place many officials and residents wanted to avoid: a courtroom.
Here is the phrase in question: “The unlawful possession, use or discharge of any type of firearm is strictly forbidden.” Ohioans for Concealed Carry said the law should not mention possession of a firearm.
On September 16, Council voted 4-3 to allow guns in city parks. More than 100 people jammed a hearing room to protest. All members of council loathed the state law, but most feared litigation and endless protests from guns advocates. Some residents and members of council wanted more time for the city to come up with ideas on the issues.
Council reluctantly had to drop its local law that prohibited guns in city parks, as it conflicted with a state statute that permits people to carry weapons in most public places, including parks.
The issue of guns in Oberlin began simmering in August, when an Ashland County man emailed the city’s police chief, Tom Miller, and said he would be going to a city park with his family. He said he and his wife would be carrying firearms and didn’t want to be arrested. A few hours later, Miller called back and told him it was legal to carry firearms in city parks. The man who got his way is now named as a plaintiff in the suit.
Oberlin Law Director Jon Clark said at the council meeting that any issues that come up later could be addressed as an amendment. He said he believed the law involving the park was solid.
Ronnie Rimbert, the president of Oberlin Council and one of the people who voted for the parks issue Sept. 16, seemed puzzled when told of the suit. “I have to talk to the law director,” Rimbert said. “I think we were following the law. I don’t know why they’re doing this. All we can control is what is in front of us.”
Via Cleveland.com. [Note: It’s worth clicking over to the original article to see the creepy picture of the man that started this ball rolling.]
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