Thursday, October 13, 2011

Case tests Ohio's guns-in-bars law | The Republican Culture War

I own a conceal carry permit to own a firearm.

The Ohio Republican legislature passed a open firearm in bar bill in 2011. The governor John Kasich, first term has been marred in controversy. The SB 5 bill which strips public sector unions of collective bargaining, calling the Upper Arlington police officer who stopped him "an idiot", partisan redistricting to favor Republicans, and his golf outing with Ohio House Speaker John Boehner, Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama has sunk job approval to low 40s.

Governor Kasich, the former host of Fox News program Heartland also has ties to NewsCorporation, Incorporated. The media network is involved in a major scandal over here and in the United Kingdom.

Here's an example of putting water on a grease fire:

Chad O’Reilly
Chad O’Reilly / Provided

Facts about Ohio’s new gun law

• The law allows people with concealed-carry permits to keep their guns with them when they enter one of the state’s 17,000 bars, restaurants or nightclubs where alcohol is served. The law also allows a permit holder to have a loaded handgun in a vehicle even if the gun is not secured in a holster or container.

• Businesses still can ban guns on their premises by posting a sign stating guns are not permitted.

• No one is allowed to drink alcohol while carrying a gun. Doing so is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

• Eight other states specifically allow people with proper permits to carry guns into bars. A dozen other states prohibit guns in bars.
A Deer Park man became the first in Greater Cincinnati to face charges under Ohio’s “guns in bars” law Wednesday when he was arrested for threatening to kill a fellow bar patron.

Chad O’Reilly’s arrest came two weeks after the law took effect and immediately reignited debate between gun-rights activists and those who wanted to continue a statewide ban on guns in bars.

“This law is so absurd,” said Toby Hoover, director of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence. “Without this law, maybe some fists would have flied. Instead, he’s waving a gun around.”

Supporters of the new law say it worked as intended in this case. They say O’Reilly will lose his concealed-carry permit and could face up to five years in jail if he is convicted of violating the new gun law – stiffer penalties than he would have faced under the old law.

“This fellow made a serious mistake,” said state Sen. Bill Seitz, R-Green Township, who supported changing the law. “Nothing in the law allows you to do anything other than carry a gun into an establishment if you have a permit.

“It does not give you license to brandish a gun and wave it around.”

Police say the incident occurred around 2 a.m. Wednesday when O’Reilly, who has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, got into a heated argument with another man at the H&H Tavern on Ohio Avenue in Deer Park.

They say O’Reilly, 25, walked out of the bar and returned a short time later with a .40-caliber semiautomatic Glock pistol in his hand.

According to the arrest report, O’Reilly shouted a racial slur at the man, who is Hispanic, and said, “I’m going to kill you.”

Deer Park police say O’Reilly’s friends ushered him out of the bar and police arrested him at gunpoint a few minutes later. He did not resist and no one was hurt.

O’Reilly, who police said had been drinking, was charged with aggravated menacing, ethnic intimidation, possession of a controlled substance (injectable testosterone) and illegal possession of a firearm in a liquor establishment.

The latter charge is related to Ohio’s new law, which allows concealed-carry permit holders to bring weapons into bars, restaurants, nightclubs and other places that serve liquor as long as they do not drink alcohol.

Ohio law previously had forbidden guns in those businesses, with or without a concealed-carry permit.

Because O’Reilly had been drinking, police say, he violated the new gun law. The other charges relate to the threats he is accused of making while brandishing the gun.

Ohio is one of several states to adopt some version of the guns in bars law, with gun-rights advocates arguing it makes sense to allow law-abiding citizens to carry their weapons rather than keep them at home or locked in a car when they go out.

The law does not allow drinking while carrying a gun and gives bar owners the option of putting up a sign banning guns on their premises.

The H&H Tavern had no such sign, but owner Dave Anderson said it soon will. He said his bar never had a problem with gun-toting patrons before and blames the new law for the incident Wednesday morning.

“I believe in the right to bear arms, but I believe that law was made in bad judgment,” Anderson said. “It’s not good for any small business to have people carrying firearms in.”

Deer Park police Lt. Daniel McCormack said O’Reilly told police he tucked his gun into his waistband, without a holster, before entering the tavern. The bartender told police he served O’Reilly two beers before the incident.

“I’m a shooter and I believe in concealed carry,” McCormack said. “But any time you have alcohol and guns, it’s just not a good mix.”

The same argument was made often when legislators debated the new law earlier this year. The Ohio Restaurant Association, with more than 2,400 members, opposed the law on grounds that alcohol and guns are a bad combination.

Seitz and others, however, have said the nearly 250,000 Ohioans with concealed-carry permits are law-abiding citizens who should be allowed to keep their firearms with them.

To obtain a concealed-carry permit, a person must complete at least 12 hours of training, including two hours on a firing range, pass a criminal background check and pay various fees.

Seitz said the potential penalties O’Reilly faces for violating the law should discourage other permit holders from drinking while carrying a gun.

“The draconian sanctions on those who violate this law will act as a deterrent on those who would do something foolish in the future,” Seitz said.

Anderson, the bar owner, said he just doesn’t want a repeat of what happened Wednesday morning.

“We’ve been in business 21 years,” he said. “We’ve never had a thing like this happen before.”

No comments:

Post a Comment