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Ohio County Court Decision Strikes Down Cleveland’s Unconstitutional Gun Ordinances

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fairfax, Va. -- Today, the Cuyahoga County Court struck down the City of Cleveland’s scheme of restrictive gun laws still on the books despite Ohio law, which clearly prohibits such municipal gun ordinances. The Court ruled in favor of gun owners in the National Rifle Association-supported case of Buckeye Firearms Foundation, Inc. v. City of Cleveland.

 “This is a long-awaited and major victory for Ohio gun owners, further confirming the Ohio Supreme Court decision that validated and clarified Ohio’s preemption laws,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director for NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “Creating a confusing patchwork of gun laws throughout any state is unacceptable. The City of Cleveland should focus on prosecuting criminals, not enacting illegal and useless schemes that only target and entrap law-abiding gun owners.”

The City of Cleveland filed suit against the State of Ohio in March of 2007, challenging changes to Ohio state gun laws that effectively preempted all municipal ordinances regarding the possession and concealed carry of handguns. Cleveland’s city council passed a never-ending stream of useless and burdensome ordinances -- including forced registrations and bans on both open carry and semi-automatic firearms -- that only impacted law-abiding citizens. In 2009, Buckeye Foundation, Inc., with NRA’s assistance, challenged these ordinances; however, the case received a stay pending the outcome of Cleveland v. State. The Court found that the state law in no way violates Cleveland’s home rule powers under the Ohio Constitution; therefore today’s decision reflects that of Cleveland v. State.

“Any city that tries to abuse the Second Amendment freedom of its law-abiding residents, or tries to enact bogus gun control schemes, will have the NRA fighting their efforts every step of the way,” concluded Cox. “Thanks to this ruling today, law-abiding Ohioans will have one clear set of laws regarding firearms.”

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Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group. Four million members strong, NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and to advocate enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the military.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.