Columbus City Council was only able to enact these laws due to a Franklin County judge placing a preliminary injunction on a state law that prevents home rule.
Eric Delbert, the owner of LEPD Firearms Range and Training Facility, said he doesn’t think these gun laws will change anything.
“Knowing our leaders in the city council and the mayor’s office, it’s of no surprise,” he said. “It will absolutely not affect any change in the streets.”
Columbus’ laws focus on three things – banning 30 or more round magazines for non-law enforcement or military, criminalizing strawmen sales, and penalizing people for not safely storing a firearm around minors.
Delbert said storage laws and laws against strawman sales have been in place for years. He said there are many responsible gun owners in Columbus already following these laws, and wishes the council would have targeted the issue of stolen guns instead.
“They’re not tackling the real issues or bringing the experts into the mix to discuss what can be done to effect change,” Delbert said.
Delbert said he thinks these laws will be struck down by the Supreme Court.
But Dan Kobil, a Constitutional Law professor at Capital University, said that might not be the case.
“I think it’s a good way that they are able to go about regulation,” Kobil said. “Scholars that have been writing about gun regulation pointed out that regulations of ammunition may be much more viable then regulations of firearms themselves because the Second Amendment speaks of firearms and ammunition is something that could actually be limited and has been contemplated by lawmakers.”
Kobil said the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down two extreme laws involving the Second Amendment in the past. He said the City of Columbus’ three points are not at that level.
“If you look at the concurrences of justices Kavanaugh and Roberts in the most recent gun case that the Supreme Court decided, they said, ‘We do not intend to strike down every local ordinance,’” he said. “So prohibitions on carrying guns in sensitive places, prohibitions on who can carry guns if they were convicted of a felony, or the prohibition of carrying unusually dangerous weapons; all of those things appear to still be fair game for regulation and I don’t see the Columbus laws going anywhere beyond that.”
Kobil said it is still entirely possible that we see a person try to challenge these laws and bring them to federal court.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has already filed an appeal. Requests from Yost’s office for comment on the appeal have not been returned.