Cleveland gun regulations, registry shot down by appeals court

A slew of Cleveland gun regulations and a gun offender registry were ruled to be unconstitutional Thursday by a three-judge panel at the Ohio Eighth District Court of Appeals.

Cleveland.com reported that all but two of the city laws, proposed by Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and passed by the city council in 2015, were found to be in conflict with Ohio state law and thus overturned.

The appeals court ruling came as a result of gun rights group Ohioans for Concealed Carry challenging the laws after they were passed in 2015 by the city council. Under state law, cities and villages cannot impose gun regulations that are stricter than those at the state level.

Judge Sean Gallagher highlighted in the panel’s opinion that the judges could only make their decision based on Ohio state law.

“The city may not enact ordinances that conflict with Ohio’s firearm ownership and possession laws, which are intended to prove uniformity throughout the state,” Gallagher wrote. “If individuals on either side of the divide are unhappy with the law as written, the remedy lies with the Ohio legislature.”

Jeff Garvas, president of Ohioans for Concealed Carry, cheered the court’s decision and said criminality could not be solved with more gun restrictions.

“Cleveland’s idea that they can legislate away the criminal use of firearms at the expense of law-abiding individuals is a flawed concept that has been proven wrong time and time again,” Garvas said.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson plans to rewrite some of the proposed laws, in a belief that rewording them will allow the laws to stand. The mayor also plans to appeal the rulings on regulating the discharging of firearms and on the proposed gun offender registry.

Article updated at 12:15 pm EST on May 1, 2017