If anyone cares, here is the bulk of the email I sent to Dublin council members:
On Sunday, August 4, 2013, I was denied entry into the Dublin Irish Festival because I was wearing an openly carried handgun in a hip holster.
When I asked which law allowed this, the lady at the ticket table told me, "That's our own home rule law. We don't have to follow anybodys but our own at that point."
This lady was extremely courteous, but un-informed about Ohio Revised Code 9.68 and the Ohio Supreme Court decision in Cleveland v. State.
When I got a chance to speak with 5 or so of the Dublin police officers at the festival entrance, they pointed out Dublin Ordinance 96.23 as their supporting law to deprive me of attending the festival while armed.
These officers, while nothing less than professional, were not aware of Dublin Ordinance 16-12, which updated codified Ord. 96.23 to meet the legal requirements of ORC 9.68 after the Cleveland v. State decision.
The current members of the Dublin City Council and the current Chief of Police were all present at the March 26, 2013 council meeting where this ordinance was passed.
Prior to 2012, 98.26(A) of the city code read, "No person in a park except officers or the Director shall carry on his or her person firearms of any description, knives, bows and arrows, crossbows, air and gas guns, missiles or missile-throwing devices, or other dangerous weapons without having first obtained written permission from the Director."
After the passage of Ord 16-12, that same code now reads, "No person in a park except officers or the Director shall carry on his or her person knives, bows and arrows, crossbows, air and gas guns, missiles or missile-throwing devices, or other dangerous weapons without having first obtained written permission from the Director."
While the words "firearms of any description" were removed from the code, Dublin police officers are inferring that firearms are included in the undefined phrase "other dangerous weapons". While I believe this violates the intent and spirit of Ord. 16-12, it CLEARLY violates ORC 9.68.
These same officers also confirmed that this weapons restriction is in effect for all Dublin parks and at all times of the year, not just at the Irish Festival.
I would recommend that Dublin City Council act IMMEDIATELY to remedy this situation.
I have several recommendations:
First, amend codified ordinance 96.23, Section (A), to add an explicit exception for firearms. This will prevent an untrained officer from making this mistake in the future.
Second, train the Chief of Police and all officers under his command on Ohio Revised Code 9.68 and what it means. If the officers I interacted with had simply been aware of the intent of ORC 9.68, they possibly would not have read something into their ordinance that wasn't there, thus not violating state law.
Third, do not post "No Weapons" rules at any future event where such posting might violate the law or the rights of a citizen. I would suggest changing the "No weapons or fireworks" rule at the Irish Festival to, "No fireworks. No illegal weapons."
Fourth, train or advise the entire staff of the City of Dublin that the Home Rule amendment of the Ohio no longer applies to laws regarding firearms. Rather than read Ohio Supreme Court decisions to them, such as OFCC v. City of Clyde, or Cleveland v. State, simply explain to them that no public entity within the state can regulate the possession, sale or tranport of firearms, firearms parts or firearms ammunition. Only federal and state laws can regulate firearms within this state.
Yours truly, lots of love, blah blah blah...