September 1, 2014

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Oberlin Council still talking about proposed state gun law

OBERLIN — City Council resumed discussion of its opposition to House Bill 203 — legislation that relaxes several handgun restrictions in the state.

Council has drafted a resolution in response to the bill, which was introduced June 11.

Councilman Bryan Burgess also has petitioned legislators to pass House Bill 31, which would prohibit any person from storing or leaving a firearm in the person’s residence unless the firearm is secured in safe storage or rendered inoperable by a tamper-resistant lock or other safety device. The person also would face criminal penalties if a minor gained unauthorized access to the firearm that was not stored or rendered inoperable.

Linda Slocum, president of the League of Women Voters of the Oberlin Area, praised City Council for its vigilance in speaking out against guns in the community. Slocum has testified as a proponent for House Bill 31.

“We need to be vigilant about all the legislation that is coming down the pipe regarding guns,” she said. “I commend you for keeping up on these issues as they are coming up in this state.”

City Council’s opposition to House Bill 203 is in the midst of a lawsuit filed against the city by Ohioans for Concealed Carry. The group is suing the city for its gun laws, which the group contends are too vague and don’t align with state law.

City Council did not specifically comment on the pending lawsuit, but discussed its opposition to House Bill 203.

The proposed resolution opposes provisions which make it easier for individuals who are the subject of restraining orders to carry a concealed weapon by the creation of “Stand Your Ground” laws in Ohio.

The resolution, which has not yet been passed by City Council, argues that “research from the FBI’s Crime Division (2010) found that states with expanded Castle Doctrine laws, including Stand Your Ground, had an additional 600 homicides and that the notion of lethal force used in self-defense outside the home did not deter property crimes or other crime categories.”

A 2007 report by the National District Attorneys Association warned that “the laws could have significant implications for public safety and the justice system’s ability to hold people accountable for violent acts,” according to the resolution.

City Council decided to further discuss the resolution during its next meeting.

Gateway project

Also discussed Monday was the Gateway Hotel Project, a project to demolish the existing Oberlin Inn to build a new hotel and conference center.

Vice-President of Council Sharon Fairchild-Soucy said the Planning Commission approved a plan to alleviate traffic and parking problems, which were noted as problematic during the initial proposal. She said there are still issues with the design, however, and those issues are being reworked.

New ODNR deal

City Council also approved an agreement between the city of Oberlin and the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife for the joint maintenance and management of a public fishing program at the Oberlin Municipal Reservoir on Parsons Road.

In the fall of 1987, the city entered into a 25-year Fishing Agreement with ODNR, and a second agreement with the agency expired Nov. 3, 2012.

The agreement allowed the city to retain full control over the reservoir, restricted watercrafts and permitted “controlled free public fishing,” although ODNR may provide fish management services and maintain the staircase on the reservoir embankment, the parking lot and related signage.

Council President Ron Rimbert said the importance of passing the legislation is so the staircase gets fixed, as it is in need of repairs.

The new agreement would allow ODNR to provide a fisheries management program, giving it the authority to enforce fishing, wildlife and nuisance laws; offer specific protections and controls over the water supply; regulate “controlled free public fishing” and commit ODNR to replace the stairway on the reservoir embankment by Sept. 30, 2014, and to repair or replace the parking lot by Nov. 1, 2018.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @ChelseaMillerCT.

  • LookBackTwo

    If all businesses in Oberlin posted their establishments with the approved “No Gun” signs, no gun owners would be allowed to carry firearms into their buildings. Law abiding gun owners would just take their business elsewhere.

    • Frank McCourry

      Right, and Oberlin businesses would feel he pain of lost profits. What Oberlin officials cannot wrap their head around is that Law Abiding Gun Owners don’t need to be regulated, they regulate themselves. 100% of all crimes are committed by, get this, CRIMINALS!

      Last I checked it took close to 3 months to get a CCW in this state, because of strict training and background checks. Not to many criminals carrying guns legally. By the way, if they don’t pay attention to the laws, what makes anyone think that a criminal will pay attention to your Gun Ban sign?

      I won’t do business with anyone posting these silly signs, because they simply announced to the criminals that they can do business without fear of being shot!

      • Joe Smith

        You can get a CCW quicker if you go to the Medina Sheriffs to get it, I got mine in 2 weeks from the time I submitted the paperwork. Of course it took a month to get an appointment.

        And I am with you on not shopping at places with the signs. I haven’t shopped in the main portion of the Mall since they put up the signs.

        Note that Macy’s, Best Buy and Dunhams are separate from the mall and are not posted, you can shop at these while carrying as long as you don’t go in the main portion of the mall without violating the law.

    • BriKuz

      The funny thing is, many businesses in Oberlin don’t WANT to post… on another note, that just means that law abiding gun owners make their purchases outside of Oberlin (no tax revenue) and then STILL go to the park for their picnic! ;-)

  • LookBackTwo

    Exactly!

  • alreadyfedup1

    The liberals in Oberlin “need to get over it”. “It’s the LAW” and other famous quotations that left use. Sounds familiar.