Delaware County Judge Denies Columbus’ Request to Permit Enforcement of Gun Control Laws During Lawsuit

An Ohio judge denied the City of Columbus’ request to allow them to enforce its new gun control laws while the lawsuit filed by The Buckeye Institute to protect the rights of Ohioans to keep and bear arms is being heard.

The Buckeye Institute filed the lawsuit following the adoption of Ordinance 3176-2022 by the Columbus City Council, which forbade the use of certain firearm magazines in violation of Ohio law and the U.S. and Ohio constitutions.

The Columbus City Council passed the ordinance in December 2022, making it unlawful to own a gun magazine that holds 30 or more rounds of ammunition anyone other than a federal or state agent, armed services member, or a member of state or local law enforcement, and mandates firearm storage in the home. Also, it penalizes the straw sales of firearms when someone buys a gun to sell or gives it to someone prohibited from having one.

The Columbus City Council claimed it was addressing the crime issue when it passed the ban on “large capacity magazines,” but it did not mention any misuse of these magazines in Columbus or provide any justification for how it would do so.

“The Ohio Constitution and the U.S. Constitution explicitly protect our right to keep arms for our defense and security, and Ohio’s general assembly has passed laws to prevent just this type of local government infringement on these rights. Yet, the city of Columbus insists on infringing on Ohioans’ fundamental right to keep and bear arms to protect ourselves,” David C. Tryon, director of litigation at The Buckeye Institute and an attorney on the case, said.

The Buckeye Institute represents five Central Ohio residents in Doe v. Columbus who aren’t named since the ordinance has rendered their once-legal possession of the forbidden magazines illegal.

According to the lawsuit, the ordinance violates Ohio law, which the Ohio Supreme Court has twice upheld against home rule challenges, and “unequivocally requires uniform firearms laws in the State of Ohio.” The ordinance further violates the due process clause in the Ohio Constitution and Article I, Section 4 of the Ohio Constitution.

After the initial filing, Judge David Gormley granted The Buckeye Institute’s request for a preliminary injunction in Doe v. Columbus, staying the enforcement of the Columbus city gun control ordinance.

Last month, the City of Columbus, city-council President Shannon Hardin, and City Attorney Zach Klein filed an appeal from Judge Gormleys order asking him to stay the enforcement of the preliminary injunction and clarify that the scope of the preliminary injunction is only valid in Delaware County until their appeal is resolved.

According to Gormley, the city’s requests are illogical.

“In other words, the city asks me to adopt the seemingly illogical view that Ohio law guarantees that the State and its political subdivisions will always win at the preliminary-injunction state in every trial court. In short, the defendants’ view of Rule 62 is “heads we win; tails you lose” every time any person or entity seeks an injunction to stop some alleged wrongdoing by the State or one of its political subdivisions,” Gormley said.

Gormley also noted the defendant’s claims that he lacks the statutory authority to grant injunctive relief that can be enforced outside Delaware County is false.

“Were the defendants’ view to prevail, numerous orders issued by trial courts in this state – including protective orders, subpoenas, domestic-violence and civil-stalking protection orders, and various others – would be of little value for they could be enforced only in a limited geographic area near each county courthouse. That has never been the law in Ohio,” Judge Gormley said.

Tyron told The Ohio Star that he applauds Judge Gormley for once again protecting the constitutional rights of Columbus residents.

“Using a procedural ploy, Columbus attempted to reverse the court’s ruling that halted the enforcement of the city’s unlawful gun magazine ban. The court recognized this attempt for what it was and refused the city’s request, going so far as to characterize the city’s view of the law as a ‘heads I win, tails you lose’ argument. In doing so, the court has once again protected the constitutional rights of Columbus residents,” Tyron told The Star.

Dean Rieck, executive director of Buckeye Firearms Association, told The Star that Judge Gormley’s ruling “is the right call.”

“Judge Gormley’s ruling to deny Columbus’ request to enforce their new gun laws is the right call. The city is cynically arguing that they have home rule on firearm regulation, even though they are fully aware that the Ohio Supreme Court has twice ruled on this issue. The court has unequivocally ruled that the state’s preemption law, which forbids cities from enforcing their own gun laws, is valid in all aspects. The Ohio legislature has made it clear that they want one set of uniform firearm laws in Ohio, not a patchwork of laws to confuse and entrap citizens. And Columbus recently lost a lawsuit brought by Buckeye Firearms Association over firearm laws. Columbus residents should ask Mayor Ginther and City Council members why they continue to break the law and waste taxpayer money to do something state law expressly forbids them from doing,” Rieck told The Star.

Doe v. Columbus is filed in the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas.

– – –

Hannah Poling is a lead reporter at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Hannah on Twitter @HannahPoling1. Email tips to [email protected]






Related posts