Ohioans do not have a constitutional right to carry concealed firearms, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled, 5 to 2. The Cleveland Plain Dealer says that “both sides of the fractious issue believe [the case] could breathe new life into the legislature’s stalled debate over allowing law-abiding citizens to carry concealed handguns.”
The ruling overturns two court decisions ordering local police to stop arresting people for carrying concealed weapons.
Justice Paul Pfeifer said that “the General Assembly has determined that prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons helps maintain an orderly and safe society… We conclude that that goal and the means used to attain it are reasonable.” Justice Maureen O’Connor, in a dissent, said the decision “creates an unavoidable chilling effect on the free exercise of the right to bear arms for defense and security.”
“In a limited sense it is a victory for some who want restrictions on guns,” said Melvyn Durchslag, a constitutional law professor at Case Western Reserve University. “The ruling is a green light to the legislature that it may impose some restrictions on guns.”