Readers of the FAX Alert may recall the name Judge Robert Ruehlman. In 1999, Judge Ruehlman dismissed a lawsuit brought by the City of Cincinnati that tried to hold gun manufacturers accountable for the city’s costs to treat victims of gun violence.
Last week, Judge Ruehlman was back in the news. On January 10, he declared Ohio’s current ban on Right To Carry unconstitutional. Ohio Attorney General Betty D. Montgomery (R) then accommodated a request by the Hamilton County Court of Appeals by issuing a stay forbidding the ban’s enforcement.
In his ruling, Judge Ruehlman noted that Ohio’s current prohibition on Right To Carry is "contrary to their (the plaintiffs’) Ohio Constitutional right." He further commented, "Amidst all the baying from gun opponents is the irrefutable fact that there will always be people in our society who refuse to follow any rules and who can never be reasoned with or rehabilitated." The Judge’s ruling was probably best summed up when he said, "There is no doubt that the very thought a potential victim might possess a firearm deters that element of our society that cares nothing about laws or human life but rather understands only one thing -- brute force."
The gun ban lobby formerly known as HCI was quick to criticize the Judge’s ruling. In typical knee-jerk reaction, Dennis Hennigan, who serves as the Director of the Brady Center’s Legal Action Project, mused in a press release, "The judge’s ruling runs counter to common-sense....Unless it is corrected on appeal, this decision not only places Cincinnati law enforcement at risk, it endangers the lives of ordinary citizens."
The ruling shed new light on the debate before the Ohio House of Representatives, as it prepares to vote on HB 274, an NRA-supported bill that would allow law-abiding citizens to carry a firearm for self-defense if they meet certain requirements including a background check and firearm training. Bill sponsor Rep. Jim Aslanides (R-95), said he was "elated" by the court’s decision, and that it "exemplifies that we need to construct a bill that is palatable to the citizens of Ohio." NRA members in Ohio are urged to contact the Ohio House Representatives at (614) 466-3357 to voice their support for HB 274. Members can also find and contact their individual Representative using our "Write Your Reps" feature.