HB 373: allow carry in court unless specifically forbidden

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Re: HB 373: allow carry in court unless specifically forbidd

Postby djthomas » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:33 pm

schmieg wrote:I would want to do some research into what constitutes a governing body with authority over the building. Is an agency of the state that has control over a building a "governing body" or does "governing body" mean that it must have legislative authority? I'm not sure. If the former, I would expect there to be a rash of policies quickly put into place to keep them off-limits; though, if your reading is correct, that may no longer be a felony.

Governing body, as used in 2923.126 is defined by 154.01. Regardless of that though keep in mind that there are state agencies (e.g. the Capitol Square Advisory Board, Casino Control Commission, DMV) that have already presumed to regulate firearms beyond enumerated buildings. When accused of violating 9.68 CSAB said "well no, state law allows us to make rules, so therefore we're compliant with 9.68." And our politicians got all mealy mouthed and uncomfortable when OFCC showed up threatening to have an open carry protest on the sidewalk surrounding the capitol. But legislatively they never did anything to reign that in.

What also bothers me about this bill is that they're striking the exception to having a gun in the capitol parking garage, probably thinking it won't be required once it's not an enumerated CPZ. But they totally forget (or don't care) that their little advisory board still has rules prohibiting firearms anywhere on the grounds and will no doubt get back to enforcing them if the law no longer explicitly permits firearms in the garage.

Oh, and if the intent is to make state buildings carry friendly, why are DMVs still considered government facilities? For 95% of Ohioans those are the only "state" buildings we ever have occasion to go into.

No, this is a weird bill that I don't think has much chance of passing, especially given the low number of co-sponsors. Does it have some positive components? Maybe, but roll them into HB 233 during the Senate committee process and for cripes sakes stop carving out more local patchwork exceptions and do something about the damn signs too. Oh, and while you're at it, make 9.68 crystal clear that "Notwithstanding any other provision of the revised code no agency, board, commission, etc, may promulgate rules concerning firearms unless statutorily required to do so."
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Re: HB 373: allow carry in court unless specifically forbidd

Postby scottb » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:25 pm

Gramps wrote:What is the OGA?

Ohio General Assembly
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Re: HB 373: allow carry in court unless specifically forbidd

Postby Brian D. » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:18 pm

scottb wrote:
Gramps wrote:What is the OGA?

Ohio General Assembly


Ohio House of Representatives + Ohio Senate = Ohio General Assembly. One or another of them tried introducing a bill for themselves a while back that would have allowed public buildings carry but ONLY for elected officials. No traction for the proposal, so far anyway.
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Re: HB 373: allow carry in court unless specifically forbidd

Postby Werz » Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:26 am

schmieg wrote:
Brian D. wrote:Just spitballing here, but could this be a way for judges to let "friends of the court" with CHLs--that is, lawyers who go in front of the bench, among which would be some state Representatives and Senators--carry there when they want to?

I could see law enforcement cozying up to this as well, if they are invited to the party.

Meanwhile, too bad for us CHL- holding peasants. Bouncer..uh, bailiff...won't let us past the velvet rope.

Schmieg, think I might be on to something here?

It probably wouldn't be defense attorneys who would benefit from this, but prosecutors, probation officers, children's services officers, child support enforcement and the like.

I think the bill stinks.

Y'all ain't readin' the bill.

Yeah, I'm extremely familiar with this one because it has always applied to me, since judges, bailiffs, law enforcement officers, and prosecutors have always been exempt. Sure, the court can promulgate a local rule, but only with an important limitation: if one group is banned, all are banned, even the judge. Yeah, they can still create a local rule which singles out specific groups, but the best they can do with that is a contempt of court charge because a non-compliant local rule will not allow for a felony charge, and even a contempt of court charge based on such a rule would arguably be in violation of R.C. 9.68. The judges, of course, argue separation of powers, claiming that they are not beholden to the legislature in controlling the court's premises, but even if that argument is successful, the only penalty available is still contempt of court. All this bill does is elevate concealed handgun licensees to the same exemption judges, bailiffs, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and some others have.

You might think that judges would rush to create local rules which ban everyone from carrying a firearm into the courthouse, and some courts have such a rule. Just remember that peace officers really don't like being disarmed upon entering the courthouse, and judges rely on police agency endorsements at election time. In my experience, the number of courts with an anti-gun local rule are dwindling, not expanding.
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Re: HB 373: allow carry in court unless specifically forbidd

Postby WestonDon » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:30 am

Getting rid of the opt out provision for government facilities would make this a pretty good bill IMHO.
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Re: HB 373: allow carry in court unless specifically forbidd

Postby djthomas » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:06 am

Werz wrote:Yeah, I'm extremely familiar with this one because it has always applied to me, since judges, bailiffs, law enforcement officers, and prosecutors have always been exempt. Sure, the court can promulgate a local rule, but only with an important limitation: if one group is banned, all are banned, even the judge. Yeah, they can still create a local rule which singles out specific groups, but the best they can do with that is a contempt of court charge because a non-compliant local rule will not allow for a felony charge, and even a contempt of court charge based on such a rule would arguably be in violation of R.C. 9.68. The judges, of course, argue separation of powers, claiming that they are not beholden to the legislature in controlling the court's premises, but even if that argument is successful, the only penalty available is still contempt of court. All this bill does is elevate concealed handgun licensees to the same exemption judges, bailiffs, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and some others have.

Except that this bill also explicitly allows governing authorities of non-state owned government facilities (e.g. municipal and county) to institute a policy prohibiting carry and it's back to felony level for the CHLer. Presumably for a courthouse the governing authority would be the presiding judge.

This is a perfect example of how our firearms laws are becoming a real mess when the OGA starts giving local governments the ability to do certain things and doesn't take a step back to understand how each proposed change fits within the context of the statute as a whole.
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Re: HB 373: allow carry in court unless specifically forbidd

Postby Brian D. » Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:55 am

djthomas wrote:Except that this bill also explicitly allows governing authorities of non-state owned government facilities (e.g. municipal and county) to institute a policy prohibiting carry and it's back to felony level for the CHLer. Presumably for a courthouse the governing authority would be the presiding judge.


Now, the fact that someone as knowledgeable as you apparently isn't quite sure that the "governing authority" is the presiding judge, gives me pause, and illustrates how complex our laws and regulations often turn out to be. I say that not to be insulting or sarcastic in your direction, djt, but the fact this matter could be even a little murky is what's bothersome.
Let's take a county building that includes administration offices, court rooms, but no jail or sheriffs office. Would it be the presiding judge, or perhaps the County Administrator, who is the "presiding authority" in this matter?

Then, let's try a county building that has a jail, courts, and admin offices, but the sheriffs building is across the street. Presiding authority is..? Oh wait, there's a jail, does that make the whole building still off limits to carry?

Now, let's go with a county building with admin, courtrooms, and sheriffs office, jail is across the street but there's a restricted access tunnel or walkway connecting them. Presiding authority for the non-jail part is..? Oh dang again, part of this one is a law enforcement space.

And of course, cities build their work facilities in just as diverse a manner.

The longer I am around these matters the more it all just confuses me.
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Re: HB 373: allow carry in court unless specifically forbidd

Postby Werz » Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:48 pm

djthomas wrote:
Werz wrote:Yeah, I'm extremely familiar with this one because it has always applied to me, since judges, bailiffs, law enforcement officers, and prosecutors have always been exempt. Sure, the court can promulgate a local rule, but only with an important limitation: if one group is banned, all are banned, even the judge. Yeah, they can still create a local rule which singles out specific groups, but the best they can do with that is a contempt of court charge because a non-compliant local rule will not allow for a felony charge, and even a contempt of court charge based on such a rule would arguably be in violation of R.C. 9.68. The judges, of course, argue separation of powers, claiming that they are not beholden to the legislature in controlling the court's premises, but even if that argument is successful, the only penalty available is still contempt of court. All this bill does is elevate concealed handgun licensees to the same exemption judges, bailiffs, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and some others have.

Except that this bill also explicitly allows governing authorities of non-state owned government facilities (e.g. municipal and county) to institute a policy prohibiting carry and it's back to felony level for the CHLer. Presumably for a courthouse the governing authority would be the presiding judge.

This is a perfect example of how our firearms laws are becoming a real mess when the OGA starts giving local governments the ability to do certain things and doesn't take a step back to understand how each proposed change fits within the context of the statute as a whole.

Let's clarify what we're talking about. I've read the provisions, and I don't see any way that this bill make things worse. Even if the governing authority creates an ordinance or rule prohibiting firearms in a specific building, they cannot increase the penalty for it. Yes, you could still be charged with felony Carrying a Concealed Weapon under the default provisions of R.C. 2923.126(B), which designates places where a CHL does not apply, but under this bill, those places will be banned only if there is local legislation, those places will not be banned automatically. Isn't that what everyone wanted for houses of worship? In a non-school, non-courthouse building, you could still carry openly, and the penalty would not exceed misdemeanor Criminal Trespass. Local authorities cannot promulgate felony ordinances, anyway. And an attempt by a local governing authority to ban any conduct beyond that which is covered by state law is still a violation of R.C. 9.68.

If you're complaining about people knowing which buildings allow you to carry and which do not, I get it. The only way to handle that is to do things the way you always have because, as I said, nothing gets worse. It's not impossible to figure out, though. Our local cops know that they can carry in our Common Pleas Courthouse, but not in our Municipal Courthouse. Do we get everything we want? No. But we never had, and we never will. I'll accept some progress. In most cases, I can usually carry a gun in those places, anyway; I would like to see other concealed handgun licensees included.
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Re: HB 373: allow carry in court unless specifically forbidd

Postby Brian D. » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:50 am

I wonder how much traction vs. opposition this bill will get from usual the interested parties? As of yesterday, BFA had made no mention of HB 373. I will go look again.
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Re: HB 373: allow carry in court unless specifically forbidd

Postby Brian D. » Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:43 pm

Still no mention of this by BFA. And honestly, I was thinking that maybe one of our (sometimes) Statehouse insiders like Mr. MacGary or the Deekinator would have weighed in with thoughts on this bill. It smells to me like something that is being done to help a select few carry licensees, namely the state Reps and Senators who also happen to have law degrees and find themselves in courtrooms as part of their outside-the-Statehouse professional lives.
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Re: HB 373: allow carry in court unless specifically forbidd

Postby Werz » Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:42 am

Brian D. wrote:Still no mention of this by BFA. And honestly, I was thinking that maybe one of our (sometimes) Statehouse insiders like Mr. MacGary or the Deekinator would have weighed in with thoughts on this bill. It smells to me like something that is being done to help a select few carry licensees, namely the state Reps and Senators who also happen to have law degrees and find themselves in courtrooms as part of their outside-the-Statehouse professional lives.

That's really weird. I would expect this bill to make anti-gunners go ballistic, particularly because it includes courthouses. Maybe they are waiting for it to come out of committee. It does have 20 sponsors.

Legislators end up in a lot of public buildings, but not that often in courthouses. That's what makes me wonder, particularly because courthouses are one of the specially protected public buildings, like schools. I'm not sure what special motivation might be involved there.

As to BFA, the more quiet, the more suspicious. I still remember when they were willing to surrender us to federal disabilities solely for the purpose of reciprocity with Texas.
"An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life."
-- Robert A. Heinlein, Beyond This Horizon
"Remember that protecting our gun rights still boils down to keeping a majority in the electorate, and that our daily activities can have the impact of being ambassadors for the gun culture ..."
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Re: HB 373: allow carry in court unless specifically forbidd

Postby Tru-Heathen » Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:00 pm

This was in my local paper tonight. Front page and above the fold.

Kenton Times October 27,2017


Prosecutor concerned about bill that would allow guns in courthouse

By DAN ROBINSON
Times staff writer
Hardin County Prosecutor Brad Bailey updated the county commissioners Thursday
morning on pending state legislation which he fears would turn the courthouse into an
“armed camp.”

On Aug. 31, the commissioners passed an amendment to their drug policy which opened the
way for random alcohol or drug testing for anyone who works in the courthouse in a Safety Sensitive Position.
Those are the jobs which could be considered dangerous and could require someone to carry a gun while in the building.
Bailey said he believed the amendment was a solid policy. The public is not allowed to carry weapons into the courthouse,
Bailey said, but a bill being considered in the statehouse could change that.

The bill would allow people with concealed carry permits to have guns in the courthouse,he said.
The bill is opposed by state groups representing prosecuting attorneys, sheriffs and common pleas judges, said Bailey.
Those organizations are opposing the law “vigorously,” he said.
“We don’t think this is a good law,” said Bailey. “If it happens, we would need to meet and consider our options.
It could require us to heighten security in a way to make the courthouse like an armed camp.”

The new law could make it necessary, said Bailey, for the commissioners to make only one courthouse entrance accessible
to the public. Many counties have already taken that precaution, he added.

Bailey said he will monitor the progress of the bill and should it pass, set up a meeting with the commissioners to
address the needed changes...


Now I can't fault Prosecutor Bailey bringing this to the Commissioners attention. If I understand correctly, he is their legal advisor .
But either he or Mr. Robinson seems to have a flair for dramatic statements.
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