The small town of Oberlin, Ohio, is preparing for a big fight over a change in law permits people to carry firearms in local parks, in accordance with a state statute.
An Ohio law passed in 2006 permits people to carry guns in most public places, including public parks. Oberlin’s ordinance prohibiting the carrying of guns in parks has been on the books since 1998. No one seems to have noticed the discrepancy until Brian Kuzawa, from neighboring Ashland County, contacted the town’s police chief on August 2.
Kuzawa told Oberlin Police Chief Tom Miller in an email that he and his wife would be bringing their two-year-old to an Oberlin park the next day, and both he and his wife would be carrying guns. Miller called Kuzawa after receiving his email and admitted that the state law trumped the city’s ordinance.
Oberlin’s City Council is expected to decide on September 16 whether to rescind the local law, or challenge the state law in court. Precedent is not on their side if they choose the latter option; Cleveland lost a similar gun-rights battle in 2010.