Wednesday, April 10, 2002

Appeals court to rule on ban of concealed weapons

By Marie McCain,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Appeals court judges will announce their decision today on whether an Ohio law banning concealed weapons is unconstitutional.

        Attorneys for the city of Cincinnati, Hamilton County and the state filed an appeal with the 1st District Court of Appeals following a January decision by Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman.

        Judge Ruehlman sided with a group of Cincinnatians who sued the city, county and every municipality in Ohio, contending that their constitutional rights were violated by a state law banning them from carrying concealed weapons.

        On Jan. 10, Judge Ruehlman declared the century-old statute unconstitutional. He said the state constitution allows law-abiding residents to carry weapons for defense and security.

        He also ordered police and prosecutors to stop enforcing the ban on concealed weapons.

        Appeals Judges Mark Painter, Rupert Doan and Lee Hildebrandt Jr. ordered a stay on Judge Ruehlman's decision, which is expected to be lifted today with their decision.

        State, county and Cincinnati attorneys in their appeal to the higher court contended that police officers will be put at greater risk by Judge Ruehlman's decision.

        The primary litigant, Chuck Klein, is a private investigator who believes the state constitution permits him to carry a gun, concealed or otherwise, for protection.


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