After a few Emails back and forth, the board, on October 18, 2016, passed a Resolution fixing their rules.To: Chief Dan Bower and Jonathan Granville
Ref: Park Rules
On Monday morning (September 26, 2016) I spoke with Sergeant James about the park rules being in violation of state law relating to firearms. Sergeant James said that he would have the chief call me that afternoon. I received no such call. I called Tuesday morning (September 27, 2016) and I left a voice message with Jonathan Granville. I have not received a return call from either.
One of the park rules that is in violation of state law (ORC § 9.68) and the Ohio Supreme Court (Ohioans for Concealed Carry, Inc. v. Clyde, 120 Ohio St.3d 96, 2008-Ohio-4605) is:
“1545.09 5b No person, except a Park Ranger, another law enforcement officer, a person within a designated hunting area, a person within a Board designated target range, or a person specifically authorized in writing by the Executive Director or his or her designee shall carry or possess a firearm of any description, air rifle, slingshot, bow, crossbow, rocket, missile throwing device, or hunting knife within a Park unless said devise is a handgun and said person possess a valid Ohio Concealed Carry Permit.” (Emphasis added)
The above rule was Adopted: May 13, 2008, but on September 18,2008 the Ohio Supreme Court found such local laws or rules in violation of state law. Sergeant James acknowledged the park rules are in violation of state law, but informed me the rules are under review.
However, in an April 2012 email Mr. Granville stated:
“We appreciate your comments in regard to the open carry provisions of state law and the apparent conflict with the language of MetroParks Rules and Regulations. You are correct that state law always trumps local ordinances whenever there is a conflict. Recent court cases from across the state support your contention regarding open carry rights regardless of the possession of a concealed carry permit.
Our Park Rules and Regulations are due for an update to eliminate such conflicts, address present park system needs and increase clarity. Locally, you may be interested to know, our Ranger staff have never issued a citation based on the specific section of our Rules and Regulations which is the subject of your email and, under present circumstances, our officers will not do so.
However, your communication is very timely. We are in the process of rebuilding our Ranger Dept. and a rewrite of its public safety operating policies and existing Park Rules and Rules will take place in the coming months.
Thank you for taking the time to alert us to the potential conflict for had we been unaware the rights of responsible gun owners might have abridged.”
Being in the process of rewriting the rules and regulations 4 1/2 years later is clearly unacceptable.
The rules and regulations require your immediate attention. And it should be noted that ORC § 9.68 does provide a remedy.
A prompt reply as to the time and date these rules will be amended would be appreciated.
Color Of Law
CC: Edward L. Dwyer
Gregory T. Amend
P/S – Any posted signs in the parks that are in conflict with state law need to also be addressed.
After all these years we are still getting towns, cities and parks in compliance.
This summer I had to get tough with Miami Township park system in Clermont County to get their rules in compliance. But, it got done.....
People, we still got a lot of work to do. We can't stop now.