Some Gun Laws in Cleveland Ruled "Unconstitutional"

CLEVELAND, OH - Some tough gun restrictions in Cleveland have been ruled unconstitutional. The Ohio Eighth District Court of Appeals ruled that a gun offender registry, similar to a sex offender registry, passed by city council in 2015 conflicts with state law. 

In a statement, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said the conflict with state regulations can be fixed by changing the language of some city ordinances. The court ruled the city can have local gun regulations as long as it doesn't conflict with general laws of the state. 

The full statement from Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson: 

“The City continues to take steps to protect Cleveland residents from the scourge of unregulated and illegally possessed firearms. Back in 2007 the City exercised its constitutional home rule authority to challenge the validity of the General Assembly’s one size fits all attempt with the enactment of R.C. 9.68 to take away the City’s long-recognized right to enact firearm ordinances that fit Cleveland’s unique circumstances. 

Though the Ohio Supreme Court upheld R.C. 9.68, the City enacted new legislation that was intended to “match state law and to increase regulations that limit discharge of weapons, increase awareness regarding the presence of weapons in school zones, promote law enforcement officer safety and most importantly will keep weapons out of the hands of children and young people. The City’s firearm ordinances were challenged by Ohioans for Concealed Carry.    

The Eighth District Court of Appeals today issued an opinion that affirmed in part the City’s home rule right to enact local ordinances regulating firearms when the local laws are not in conflict with general laws of the state.  In upholding the City’s right to enact non-conflicting ordinances the Court further recognized the City’s authority to increase the misdemeanor penalties associated with the violations of firearm ordinances.  

The Eighth District’s opinion recognized that the City’s ordinances are intended to address legitimate safety concerns and to serve a reasonable purpose.  The Court invalidated some of the City’s ordinances as being in conflict with State law.  The City believes that the conflict discussed by the Court in several instances can be rectified by minor changes to the definitions of “automatic weapons” and “dangerous ordinance” in the City’s ordinances.  Corrective language has already been proposed.  

The City disagrees with the Court’s conflict analysis with regard to certain ordinances such as those regulating the discharge of firearms and the City’s creation of a gun offender registry. 

The City believes such ordinances are not in conflict with state law and an appeal will be taken in the interest of protecting the City’s citizens.”

(Photo by Getty Images) 

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