Strickland Yields to Gun Lobby

This is outrageous. I realize that Gov. Strickland (D) has a well-deserved reputation on supporting the right to bear firearms, but supporting the evisceration of reasonable gun restrictions in the face of objections from prosecutors and law enforcement groups like the Fraternal Order of Police is unacceptable.

The NRA is a power-mad, out-of-control special interest that will never stop pushing no matter how outrageous its demands become. That means that the Governor, whether a gun supporter or not, has to draw reasonable lines and put his foot down or we're headed for the shoot-em-up madness of the old Wild West.

At issue is the latest legislative wish-list from the NRA, about to be wrapped in a package and festooned with a bow by the House Criminal Justice Committee with little or no public testimony. Among the changes dictated to the GOP-controlled General Assembly by the all-powerful gun lobby:

* Anyone, licensed or not, can carry an unloaded gun in their car -- not in the trunk or in a locked case as now required.

* A sheriff doing a background check on an applicant for a concealed-carry license can't consider a sealed or expunged conviction.

* Landlords can't prohibit tenants from keeping handguns.

* Law enforcement can't seize legal guns during an emergency.

Some law enforcement officials are protesting against the changes, as you can well imagine -- those unloaded guns in cars are way too easy to load, and the guns that would be allowed include things like sawed-off shotguns and rifles. Letting people get concealed gun permits when they have prior convictions is just plain outrageous, and not letting the police seize guns when a situation is spinning out of control is unthinkable. But Strickland is not deterred. "As a gun-rights supporter, the governor believes these are reasonable and appropriate protections for gun owners," spokesman Keith Dailey said.

Perhaps the scariest part is the eerie silence of the highway patrol on this -- here is how Jim Siegel puts it in his Dispatch story:

The State Highway Patrol, which has been very vocal in the past about concerns over guns in vehicles, is now, under Strickland, declining to talk about the issue.

So is Strickland not only failing to object to these outrageous changes to the law, but strangling criticism from within the executive branch?

This is going too far.

Well

Playing devils advocate...
1) I think the the car thing came about because people with conceal carry permits were driving in cars owned by people who did not have permits and the guns were being confiscated even though they belonged to the permitted person. Of course, you did not mention the conceal carry law so perhaps it is just to pacify the redneck gun rack in my truck contingent.

2) I guess, it makes zero sense to seal/expunge a record if it can be used against the person.

3)They can prohibit pets but they can't prohibit handguns? hmmm I suppose, as long as it is a legal gun, the landlord is expected to mind his own business?

4)What qualifies as an emergency? Is it actually defined as a "situation spinning out of control" or is it more along the lines of a government declaration, like NOLA or 911? If I was one of those survivalist types, I imagine I might be pretty upset if the government ever had any right to take my legal gun away from me especially if I felt I needed it to protect my family.

So, while I am not a big gun proponent, I don't think these are the "worst of the worst" changes. In Ohio, it is a delicate balance between urban criminal gun owners and rural sportsman gun owners.

I think these changes are absolutely outrageous

What could possibly be the problem with having to put your gun in the trunk or in a locked case if you don't have a concealed gun permit? That's ridiculous! And completely dangerous, too ... it just takes a second to convert an unloaded to a loaded gun.

There's plenty of point to sealing or expunging convictions other than preserving the ability to carry a concealed gun. A sheriff evaluating something as dangerous as that should have ALL the information, and it doesn't infringe privacy to have a sheriff see it.

And that last one really gets me. One of the underlying and pernicious threads running through the proliferation of guns in our society is impulse by gun owners to act as vigilantes or enforce law and order on their own. If there's some emergency going a police officer ought to be able to take charge of people's firearms when that seems like the right thing to do. This is ridiculous.

Rural vs Urban Gun Owners

You are looking at this from a point of view of someone living in a city, rural sportsman have a much different relationship with guns. But, I am not going to continue to defend the culture - I just don't care about it enough and frankly, wish there was less of it. That doesn't mean that i think politicians should ignore them though, the majority of gun owners in Ohio are law abiding sportsman, not criminals or potential criminals.

How does the FOP's kool-aid taste?

Headed for the shoot-em-up madness of the old Wild West? Whoa, no anti gunner has ever claimed that before. You must be on to something. Or not.

Here's the non-FOP, non-anti-freedom, non-hysterical side of the story.

http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/node/5685

http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/node/5691

http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/node/5694

Law enforcement is granted their authority and power over citizens by we, the people. We are perfectly within our rights to curtail that authority as we see fit, and it is not up to them to second guess that decision. Their powers come from us; our rights do not come from them.

This legislation looks pretty reasonable...

...for the most part. However, I disagree with the third bullet point, which infringes on a property owner's right to control his, her, or its property. If a landlord and a tenant agree to a lease with a "no handguns" clause, the state shouldn't stand in their way.

"...the guns that would be allowed include things like sawed-off shotguns and rifles."

Federal law requires shotgun barrels to be at least 18 inches long. State legislation can't change that. Sawed-off shotguns would remain just as illegal as they've ever been.

"...not letting the police seize guns when a situation is spinning out of control is unthinkable."

Take a look at these accounts of police conduct in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. I'd much rather take my chances with an armed citizenry than trust police with the power to suspend the state and federal constitutions.

"One of the underlying and pernicious threads running through the proliferation of guns in our society is impulse by gun owners to act as vigilantes or enforce law and order on their own. If there's some emergency going a police officer ought to be able to take charge of people's firearms when that seems like the right thing to do."

Whatever happened to Sir Robert Peel's notion that "...the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence"?

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