Has Ohio Been A Constitutional Carry State All Along?

As I was looking into my travels this Memorial Day weekend I took a minute to have a refresher course on what the gun laws are in the states that I will be travelling to.  I am planning on heading to Cincinnati Ohio to root on my Alma Mater’s, the University of Pittsburgh’s, Ultimate Frisbee Team En Sabah Nur.

Yes…your champion of gun rights and all things 2nd Amendment himself was a big time Ultimate Frisbee player.  With ESN, a team on which I was a founding member, I was a 4-time National Qualifier after an injury left him unable to continue playing football at Pitt…but I digress :o)

Anyways, while I know Open Carry is legal in the Buckeye state (fortunate for me since Ohio and Pennsylvania do not have CCW reciprocity) I wanted to delve into the motor vehicle aspect of firearm transportation.  From what I heard you cannot carry a firearm while IN a vehicle.  Since I would be riding my motorcycle I would be ON a vehicle…alas, the courts actually ruled on this and found that being on a motorcycle falls within the confines of the infringement.

Not only did they rule against the defendant, Stephen Todd but also upheld the conviction upon appeal.

While we are on the subject, let’s look into that Judge’s ruling upholding the appeal.

She, Judge Sheila Farmer, basically writes a rubber stamp agreement with the lower court.  This includes concurring with the lower courts refusal to allow Todd’s expert to testify as well as refusing to allow the jury to conclude whether you ride IN or ON a motorcycle.

It’s pretty much your standard, “we don’t need juries when WE know the law” type of Judicial back rubbing.

The point that gets to me is that Judge Farmer tries to pull the ol Liberal switcharoo by making it seem like she is the second coming of Annie Oakley…or at least is surrounded by regular gun owning folk and thereby knows how they feel about gun laws; to wit:

{¶ 25} “The legislative comments to this statute explain the rule is ‘designed to include the ways in which responsible gun hobbyists and sportsmen agree that firearms should be transported, both from the standpoint of safety and in the interests of protecting valuable weapons from damage’.”
{¶ 26} This writer concurs with this comment as she is married to a sportsman and has a son-in-law who is a sportsman and in law enforcement

Well howdy friggin doo.  Her son in law is a cop and therefore she’s Charlton Heston reborn.

Suffice it to say that while many police officers are on the side of the people when it comes to the Second Amendment…MANY others are not.

So while her relations with gun owners is dubious at best, the 25th Statement is ridiculous in its own right.  Who are these “responsible gun hobbyists” and sportmen who agree that firearms should be transported unloaded and locked up away from their own?  Maybe they should have asked a gun owner who would prefer not to be murdered in a car jacking.  Whose safer with the law abiding drivers unarmed?  The criminals…that’s who!

You can read the entire ruling here: Ohio v Todd

Moving away from all that judicial nonsense I thought I would take a finer look into what the law actually said.  What I found was kind of surprising.

You see, this worthless piece of gun control nonsense left a HUGE hole in the middle of it that could be viewed as giving all people who drive in Ohio the right to carry a firearm while doing so without a permit.

I bring your attention to Ohio Revised Code 2923.13   Improperly Handling Firearms In A Motor Vehicle

(A) No person shall knowingly discharge a firearm while in or on a motor vehicle.

(B) No person shall knowingly transport or have a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle in such a manner that the firearm is accessible to the operator or any passenger without leaving the vehicle.

(C) No person shall knowingly transport or have a firearm in a motor vehicle, unless the person may lawfully possess that firearm under applicable law of this state or the United States, the firearm is unloaded, and the firearm is carried in one of the following ways:

(1) In a closed package, box, or case;

(2) In a compartment that can be reached only by leaving the vehicle;

(3) In plain sight and secured in a rack or holder made for the purpose;

First off, notice in (A) how they specify both IN and ON a motor vehicle when talking about discharging a weapon…I guess the judges overlooked that one.

(B) is talking about people without Ohio recognized CCW’s.

(C) is where things get interesting.  First off, the Supreme Court has ruled that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right of ALL Americans regardless of what state they reside in.  Therefore, if we are discussing firearm possession under the laws of the United States, of which the US Constitution is sacrosanct, people shouldn’t even NEED to ask Ohio for permission to carry a firearm and pay the state $67, for the 2nd Amendment should suffice.

Yet, even if we accept Ohio’s ability to infringe upon the Second Amendment they still do allow Open Carry, even Judge Farmer acknowledged that, but upon reading the following three provisions in regards to transporting a vehicle point 3 is the one that basically allows unloaded open carry without a permit in motor vehicles in Ohio.

Because, quite frankly a holster is a holder made EXACTLY for the purpose of holding a firearm.  All you have to do is slide the magazine out and you should be abiding with the idiotic law to the point that the state cannot punish you.

So, while perhaps not a true Constitutional Carry State, by my reading of the 2923.16 (you can read the whole section here, it’s mostly about drinking and giving cops and government workers exemptions from the law…because…you know…they’re better than us) since Ohio is an Open Carry State while on foot the only inconvience you would have to deal with while in a motor vehicle should be to unload your sidearm.  The law remains silent on how far the ammo would have to stay away from the firearm.  So long as the firearm is unloaded, visible and secured in your holster the LAW says you are good to go.

Whether crooked cops, crooked judges or crooked politicians view it that way remains to be seen.

I use the term crooked to describe those in power who would abuse said power to disarm law abiding citizens.

Unfortunately, until every other state hops on the 2nd Amendment trolley like Arizona, Alaska, Arkansas Vermont and Wyoming, we must map our travels through this hodgepodge land of ours with varying degrees of freedom.

Hopefully one day gun owners will be able to travel the country with their rights intact from coast to coast…but that day is not here yet.




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