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calendar   Wednesday - December 29, 2010

Well, duh

The Ohio Supreme Court today dealt a fatal blow to local efforts to regulate firearms, concluding that a more permissive state law should trump restrictions on guns in cities.

In a 5-2 ruling, the state’s top court struck down Cleveland’s assault-weapons ban and registration requirement for handguns.

Cleveland was the last city to press for tougher local firearms regulations after the Supreme Court voided a smaller town’s law against guns in public parks in 2008.

In that ruling, as in today’s, justices said lawmakers were within their rights when they enacted a uniform set of gun regulations for the entire state in 2007.

Cleveland had argued that the state law infringed on its home-rule authority.

Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, the author of today’s majority opinion, noted that the Constitution allows for general laws to regulate public safety.

“The city acknowledges that its firearm ordinances are an exercise of municipal police power,” Stratton wrote.

Chief Justice Eric Brown and Justice Paul E. Pfeifer, the court’s two most liberal justices, dissented. They contended that lawmakers couldn’t simply wish away municipalities’ home-rule authority.

“Home rule” be damned. The way America works, or at least the way it has worked since mid-1865, is that the precedence of laws is top down. Federal law trumps state law. State law trumps local law. That’s all there is to it.

States can make laws about things that the Federal government has no laws about. Counties and towns can make laws about things that neither the states nor the feds have laws about.

So if the federal government has a law that says “guns are Ok in national parks”, they are legal in all national parks, even the ones in Ohio, including any that might be in Cleveland. If Ohio has a law that says “guns are Ok in state parks” that applies to all state parks in Ohio. It doesn’t apply to any national parks in Ohio, and it certainly doesn’t apply to any state parks in Florida. Cleveland can go and write a “no guns in public parks” law and have it stick only if the folks in Columbus wrote their law specifically excluding town and county public parks. But they didn’t. They merely said “public parks”, so, ipso facto, that means all parks in Ohio that are not federal (national) parks.

So of course it infringes on the city’s home-rule authority, because the city was flexing that authority where it had none. And they did this even after another city’s similar law was struck down, which was after the state made a new set of state laws on the subject? Major exercise in stupid there Cleveland. Duh. Thanks for wasting more taxpayer money.

Whoever it was on this court who voted in favor of Cleveland’s ban (Brown and Pfeifer) ought to be kicked off the bench. If you don’t even understand the basic legal power hierarchy, you have no business at all being a judge. By their logic my [hypothetical] personal belief that I should have the legal right to own a 10lb block of C-4 explosive and a 5 kilo bag of killer marijuana as long as I carry them with me at all times ought to trump any town, county, state, or even federal law that says otherwise. Those laws infringe on my personal space, so it’s OK for me to ignore them! Hey, as much as I desire personal liberty, that’s just not how the world works. And they don’t see this? Dudes, you are so fired.

We see this same can of crap every year or two in Philthydelphia. Those guys are forever writing some dumbass gun law for the city that gets overturned by the state. Because the state already has gun laws that cover everything, so there are no blank spots left for local gun laws.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/29/2010 at 05:09 PM   
Filed Under: • Guns and Gun ControlJudges-Courts-Lawyers •  
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