Sunday, January 11, 2004

In Ohio they've passed a Shall Issue Concealed Carry Permit law. I'm no fan of CCW. It takes what should be an unfettered Right & reduces it to the legal status of privilege. For more on my problems with CCW laws, even Shall Issue, please look here, as well as here & here.

The full text (& I mean "full") of Ohio's CCW law may be found here.
Of particular instance is something stated at the end of the law on page 138 & 139:

"Section 6. In amending sections 1547.69, 2911.21, 2921.13,
2923.12, 2923.121, 2923.123, 2923.13, 2923.16, 2953.32, and
4749.10 of the Revised Code and in enacting sections 109.69,
109.731, 311.41, 311.42, and 2923.124 to 2923.1213 of the Revised
Code in this act, the General Assembly hereby declares its intent
to recognize both of the following:
(A) The inalienable and fundamental right of an individual to
defend the individual's person and the members of the individual's
(B) The fact that the right described in division (A) of this
section predates the adoption of the United States Constitution,
the adoption of the Ohio Constitution, and the enactment of all
statutory laws by the General Assembly and may not be infringed by
any enactment of the General Assembly."

It further states:

"Section 7. In enacting sections 109.69, 109.731, 311.41,
311.42, and 2923.124 to 2923.1213 of the Revised Code in this act
and in amending sections 1547.69, 2911.21, 2921.13, 2923.12,
2923.121, 2923.123, 2923.13, 2923.16, 2953.32, and 4749.10 of the
Revised Code in this act relative to licenses to carry a concealed
handgun, the General Assembly hereby declares that it is not its
intent to declare or otherwise give the impression that, prior to
the effective date of this act, an individual did not have an inalienable and fundamental right, or a right under the Ohio
Constitution or the United States Constitution, to carry a
concealed handgun or other firearm for the defense of the
individual's person or a member of the individual's family while
engaged in lawful activity. Further, the General Assembly declares
that it is not its intent to invalidate any prior convictions for
violating any section of the Revised Code or a municipal ordinance
prior to the effective date of this act or to prevent the
prosecution of any violation committed prior to the effective date
of this act."

So it states that defense of self & others is an inalienable, fundamental Right, & that while it is not claiming that the Right to carry a weapon concealed was not inalienable & inherent prior to this law, neither is it claiming that any convictions for carrying concealed were in violation of that Right!

In other words, Ohio has said that self defense & the defense of others is a Right that they cannot touch, & that carrying concealed is an extention of that Right, but they're not going to correct errors made in prosecuting someone for simply exercising a Right!

This is all beside the point that a law requiring a permit to exercise a Right is repugnant to the whole concept of natural inherent Rights, & if they can concede that self defense & carrying arms are in fact Rights which pre-date the respective applicable constitutions, they should also concede that no permit is, has been or should be required merely to exercise an existing fundamental Right.

Regardless of my problems with CCW laws, there is something else in Ohio's law that is particularly nasty: at the request of the governor & the Ohio police unions, the names & addresses of Ohio CCW permit holders will be made public on request to journalists (actually this is a compromise as initially the idea was to have the names & other info about CCW permit holders available to anyone). & we all know how fair & objectively the press have treated self defense issues, particularly those involving firearms in the past. & we'd expect more of the same in the future.
In any event the practical ramifications should not take a back seat to the principled one: a person should not have his name subject to public information searches merely because he/she wishes to defend his/herself.

Here is the relevant language from page 69 of the Ohio CCW law:

(2) Upon a written request made to a sheriff and signed by a
journalist on or after the effective date of this section, the
sheriff shall disclose to the journalist the name, county of
residence, and date of birth of each person to whom the sheriff
has issued a license or replacement license to carry a concealed
handgun, renewed a license to carry a concealed handgun, or issued
a temporary emergency license or replacement temporary emergency
license to carry a concealed handgun under section 2923.125 or
2923.1213 of the Revised Code. The request shall include the
journalist's name and title, shall include the name and address of
the journalist's employer, and shall state that disclosure of the
information sought would be in the public interest.
As used in division (B)(2) of this section, "journalist"
means a person engaged in, connected with, or employed by any news
medium, including a newspaper, magazine, press association, news
agency, or wire service, a radio or television station, or a
similar medium, for the purpose of gathering, processing,
transmitting, compiling, editing, or disseminating information for
the general public."

An Ohio newspaper, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, has threatened to publish the names of all who receive concealed carry permits.

"It is this newspaper's intention to obtain this information and publish it. Our readers deserve to know the identities of those who obtain permits to carry their guns in public. We hope other news organizations will do the same in their communities." - From The Cleveland Plain Dealer.

To counter this has decided to publish the names, addresses & home phone numbers of every person working at said newspaper when they start publishing the names of CCW permit holders. What makes things even more interesting is that Ravenwood as well as The Smallest Minority have decided a preemptive strike is called for.

On the links to their respective blogs you'll find the following:

I say, why wait. Lets start at the top. The Editor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer is Douglas Clifton. Here is his address and telephone number:
Douglas Clifton
19 Shoreby Dr
Cleveland, OH 44108-1161
Tel.: (216) 761-6577

Here is his bio. For a map to his home, click here.

& since the Cleveland Plain Dealer has urged all other Ohio newspapers to publish information about people who wish only to protect themselves, I would urge all bloggers & any others with a web site to publish the names & information of all on the Cleveland Plain Dealer's staff as well as any other newspaper which follows the Cleveland Plain Dealer's advice. Needless to say if you're in Ohio I'd also suggest dropping nay subscriptions to such "newspapers" after explaining why.

But thanks to, Ravenwood & The Smallest Minority for being on top of this. & thanks to Clayton Cramer for having a link to the text of the Ohio CCW law.

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