COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A judge in Franklin County issued a preliminary injunction Wednesday blocking — at least for now — part of a 2018 state law that expanded self-defense protections and other gun rights.
Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Judge Stephen McIntosh granted the temporary preliminary injunction more than three years after the city of Columbus first filed a lawsuit against the state law, House Bill 228.
“The court does believe the public interest will be served by the granting of the injunction,” McIntosh wrote in the decision. “Until the issues that have been presented have been properly resolved there is nothing in this record that would establish that an injunction would cause harm to the interest of the public.”
In the original lawsuit filed by Columbus city attorneys, the city argued H.B. 228 in part prohibited Ohio cities and towns from pursuing local ordinances that would combat gun violence, saying it violated “home rule” and other doctrines in the Ohio Constitution.
H.B. 228 was first vetoed by former Gov. John Kasich, but was then forced through by state lawmakers. It further enshrined the rights of Ohioans looking to buy or own a gun by barring restrictions created through “any ordinance, rule, regulation, resolution, practice, or other action,” including by cities like Columbus.
City Attorney Zach Klein filed a lawsuit with the Ohio Supreme Court on Monday, Oct. 24, aiming to force McIntosh’s hand after McIntosh failed to issue rulings on the city’s motions against the law. Klein said the city now plans to dismiss that lawsuit against McIntosh, according to a Thursday press release.
“Today’s ruling upholds our constitutional right to home rule, and with it, the people’s right to push for common sense measures to reduce gun violence and keep our kids and communities safe,” Klein said.
The city attorney’s release also said his office “looks forward to presenting its case” once the court of common pleas releases its briefing schedule.
Dean Rieck, executive director of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said in an email that he disagreed with the judge’s decision to block any part of the law. He said it was “yet another attempt” by Columbus to pass gun control ordinances that “they have no right to pass.”
“The whole idea of having statewide preemption regarding firearms is to provide one consistent set of laws throughout the state, rather than a patchwork of laws that will entrap and confuse people and infringe on their Second Amendment Rights,” Rieck said.
H.B. 228 also eliminated some duties to retreat — or the requirement that people flee through any means possible before claiming self-defense — and shifted the self-defense burden of proof from the defense to the prosecution.
Anna Hoffman contributed to this report.