Judge rules in favor of Cincinnati in gun regulation lawsuit against state

Amidst a spike in teen shootings back in June, Mayor Aftab Pureval called that lack of control “frustrating.”
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 4:47 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2023 at 5:26 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - The City of Cincinnati received a win in court on Thursday after a judge ruled in favor of the city’s lawsuit against the State of Ohio regarding gun regulations.

In a 34-page outline, Hamilton County Judge Jennifer Branch outlined why she is in part siding with the city’s claim that not allowing the city to pass gun regulations violates constitutional rights.

Judge Branch’s decision will prevent the state from enforcing a portion of the Ohio Code that requires uniform gun laws throughout Ohio, which has essentially barred cities from creating their own gun regulations.

Amidst a spike in teen shootings back in June, Mayor Aftab Pureval called that lack of control “frustrating.”

“It’s incredibly frustrating. It’s like trying to win a fistfight with one hand tied behind your back,” Mayor Pureval said.

Several city leaders testified in court about seeing more unsecured guns stolen out of cars, an increase in modified guns called “Glock switches,” and a rise in gun violence, affecting children.

“Firearm injuries surpassed motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of death amongst people ages one to 19 years in the United States,” said Assistant City Manager Virginia Tallent. “It tells me that we have a public health crisis and that children are dying every day in Ohio and the United States as a result.”

Some of those examples were cited in Branch’s decision, which said “Mayor Pureval and city officials have been grappling with how to stem the tide of gun violence and are using many tools at their disposal to try to save lives, especially of children. However, the State of Ohio took away one effective tool: The ability to pass gun regulations.”

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s Office says they disagree with Judge Branch’s ruling and plan to appeal.

FOX19 NOW also reached out to the Buckeye Firearms Association for comment but they have not responded yet.

For now, city leaders say this is a step in the right direction and they will continue to fight this legal battle.

We have to give the officers every possible tool necessary to work to reduce gun violence in this city and I will say, nobody knows how to reduce gun violence in Cincinnati better than Cincinnati,” said Cincinnati Police Chief Teresa Theetge.

The result of that appeal and this legal battle remains to be seen, but for now, that portion of the state law is paused.

Mayor Pureval says the city would like to pursue more gun regulation, but this eliminates only some risk of violating state law, not all.

Legally, they will have to sort out the risk involved with doing that and whether it is an avenue they can pursue at this time.

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