Smoking guns


Your article, “Growing number of gun cases concerns judge,” from Jan. 9 contains multiple inaccuracies and/or misleading statements. I cannot believe that the judiciary is not up to speed on current Ohio law as it pertains to firearms, but the article would lead you to believe that this is the case (no pun).

The article states, “(Judge Mark) Frost questioned whether or not signs are still provided and posted at the door of bars and nightclubs informing the public about the law against carrying guns inside.”

Frost should know that it is no longer illegal for a concealed handgun license holder to have in their possession a gun in an establishment that serves alcohol. The Restaurant & Car Carry Rules Fix, as the law has become known, changed the prohibition of guns in bars and restaurants, was signed by Gov. Kasich last June, and became the law of the state on Sept. 30, 2011.

The law states that any person who is carrying a valid license or temporary emergency license to carry a concealed handgun is permitted to possess a firearm in any room in which any person is consuming beer or intoxicating liquor in a premises for which a D permit has been issued as long as the person is not consuming beer or intoxicating liquor or under the influence of alcohol or a drug of abuse.

Also, the article stated, “The weapon’s charge is a fifth-degree felony stemming from Wilson allegedly having a loaded handgun in the center console of his vehicle along with his concealed carry permit.” If Mr. Wilson was in possession of his concealed handgun license, as the aforementioned sentence alludes, then it is perfectly lawful for him to have a loaded handgun in the console of his car.

There are responsibilities attached to that right, if Mr. Wilson failed to execute, could be reason for a citation. But the mere fact that there was a gun in the console is not a violation of the law in this case.

If Mr. Wilson was under the influence or failed to notify the officer that he had a loaded handgun he would be violating current laws. However, these infractions are misdemeanors.

The tone of this article is highly prejudicial. Most people have never read the Ohio Revised Code. They depend on sources such as your paper to help them negotiate the ever more complicated journey through our legal system. In most instances, this is the only information they consume to help them become better citizens and voters.

When a story that is at best misleading or perhaps meant to promote an anti-gun agenda appears on your pages, it is a disservice to the entire community.

John Loesch