Seventeen months after Ohioans gained the privilege to carry concealed handguns, the law continues to be poked and prodded for weaknesses, says the Toledo Blade. One issue: Can cities make their own exceptions to the state law? “It’s a very confused area of the law,” said Ohio State law Prof. Ric Simmons. The state lawmaker who helped pass the concealed-carry law last year is introducing a bill he hopes will shore up the state’s authority. The law, which went into effect April 8, 2004, allows Ohioans with permits to carry concealed handguns, but it defines 10 exemptions. People can’t carry concealed weapons to places such as police stations, day-care centers, or churches.
Toledo prohibits firearms in parks. This month, Toledo Municipal Court Judge Gene Zmuda found a man guilty of violating the city’s park rules after he entered a park carrying a sidearm and challenged police to arrest him. The judge agreed with the city’s argument that the prohibition against carrying handguns in a park was within Toledo’s home-rule authority and that the park rule was not in conflict with state law. Without a uniform state lawc, a patchwork of rules will arise – unfairly targeting those who carry concealed firearms, said Jim Irvine of the Buckeye Firearms Association.