Ohio Supreme Court Strikes Down Public Parks Gun Ban
Last week the Ohio Supreme Court struck down a Clyde city law that banned people from carrying concealed guns in public parks.
In a 4-3 decision, the court said the city of Clyde's home-rule powers don't allow it to override the 2004 state law that allowed people to get a permit to carry concealed weapons in public, except in public buildings such as schools, courthouses and stadiums. No exceptions were made for parks.
Justice Terrence O'Donnell, writing for the majority, said, "Public property is owned by the taxpayers and is accessible to all. If there were no distinction made between public and private property as the dissent suggests, then a municipality could in the future choose to expand the prohibition from public parks to public sidewalks and roadways, and eventually to all public property."
The Ohioans for Concealed Carry had sued the city and argued that parks are a prime spot for criminals and that park visitors should be able to protect themselves.
Attorneys in the case said the decision puts other Ohio cities that try to restrict concealed carry use in a bad legal position.
If Ohioans want the state law to be changed, the Legislature would either have to carve out an exception for parks.