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Thread: Massillon attempting to say open carry is illegal there

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    Regular Member NEOOpenCarry's Avatar
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    Massillon attempting to say open carry is illegal there

    I received an email from one of our members taht Massillon had a restrictive local ordinance in place banning the carry of weapons so I decided to look it up and check it out. Here is how the encounters went. These are taken straight from our facebook page.

    "Ok guys we have a serious problem in the city of Massillon that needs addressed. I just called the Massillon department of law and was transferred to the Massillon Police Department. I asked them about local ordinance 549.12 which states that "no person shall carry on or about his person a pistol..." I asked what this meant and was told that this didn't apply if you had your ccw. I then asked about open carrying a firearm since you do not need a ccw to openly carry. I was told that the open carry of firearms in Massillon is prohibited. I told them that went counter to ORC 9.68 and the City of Cleveland v state of Ohio preemption decision and was asked "what's your point?" I said my point was that it was illegal for them to enforce such an ordinance in the State of Ohio. He got very irritated with me and told me that if I carried a gun openly in Massillon I would immediately be arrested and he would let the courts figure it out. I told him that if he knew it was illegal to enforce and he still chose to arrest me or detain me that he would be knowingly violating my civil rights which is a first degree misdemeanor in Ohio. He said that that is fine and said again that if I came here with an openly carried firearm I would be arrested and the courts could "deal with me." He then started saying goodbye and I asked for his name which he begrudgingly gave me. He again tried to hang up and I asked for a number I could reach him at. He refused to give me his number and told me to call the non emergency police number to get through to him. His name is James Slutz and I believe he was at the Massillon Police Department although they transferred me 3 times so I'm not sure where I ended up. I hope I got the spelling of his name right. He was speaking very fast and trying to hang up."

    10 minutes later...

    "Ok I contacted the Stark County Prosecutors Office and explained what happened. They recommend that we try one more time to go through the city prosecutors office and let them know what happened with MPD. If I get the same response from them they want me to file a formal complaint with Stark County and it will be referred to the prosecutors office and we will continue from there. So as soon as I get a chance I will call city prosecutor back."

    4 hours later...

    "Ok, newest update on Massillon. I called the Massillon prosecutors office again and was first told that there was no one there that could help me today. After I informed them that I called the Stark County prosecutor’s office and they recommended I start with the City office, 2 minutes later an attorney was on the phone. Talked to her for about 15 minutes and explained the situation. I told her I was completely disturbed by my conversation with the MPD and that I needed to have the members of my organization who live in Massillon be afforded the same rights as everyone else in Ohio. I completely explained the preemption law and she said that as long as there was a law on the books in Ohio that preempted their statute, there wasn’t much the officers could do and basically eluded to the fact that if someone did get arrested for it that the charges would be dropped. I told her that the ordinance needed to be completely removed so that no lawful citizens got arrested and had to go through the legal process at the cost of the city when the case is dismissed. She said that it appeared like we could get it removed and said that she could not do it from the prosecutor’s office, that she needed to transfer me to the Massillon City Council. I talked to a lady there who was very confused about the preemption law and though that Massillon’s ordinance was directly from the ORC and she couldn’t change a state law. I informed her a number of times that this was not the case. She said she had to check back with the law director of Massillon (which was the first place I called at the beginning of all this!). He will not be available until Friday, so she said she would check with him and get an answer and get back to me by Friday. I am exhausted, but thrilled at the same time that we can proudly say we are working very hard on making the city of Massillon friendly to law abiding gun owners and open carriers. Thank you all for the support and I will keep you all updated as soon as I hear something else. Stay safe NEO Carry.

    -Brett"


    As soon as we get this issue resolved, NEO Carry will be organizing an open carry firearm educational walk through Massillon. I will keep everyone updated on what is going on.
    “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” - Thomas Jefferson

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    Read St. John v. McColley. Then call Slutz back, tell him about it, and ask him to read it. Tell him that if any of his officer try to do what he said they'd do, he'd be exposing them to being personally sued. Tell him that St. John is a recipe for piercing the qualified immunity that police officers normally enjoy.

    Also, if he is a high enough ranking city or MPD official that what he says it city or MPD policy, then he is exposing the city and the MPD to having immunity pierced.

    He needs to know that folks will hold him and his officers accountable for their crimes, even if we can only do so in civil court.

    BTW, under what ORC is an illegal detention a misdemeanor? I need to put that number in my bag--right next to St. John.

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    Regular Member KimberTLE's Avatar
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    Massillon attempting to say open carry is illegal there

    I have personally open carried in Massillon and have never had a problem. The only time I do go to Massillon is during the car show/fireworks down Lincoln way. They have a police tent up and a few officers patrolling. I have walked past the tent and I have talked to a officer and nobody even asked about it. It's not like they didn't see it because its a full size 1911. At one point I did have a pair of officers following me but they could have just been going in the same direction so I didn't think anything of it.

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    Ill definitely be checking back for the OC walk. If I can make it ill definitely be there.

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    The senate passed the gun control bill. Step 1 to bans and confiscation. So you can ask that last statement to our senators now. I called them everyday for two weeks and vented my feelings about the bill that it should be tossed out, and now it's moving along with liberals resorting to political extortion to gain votes. How do you think Harry Reid got the minority leader to back the bill? Idk about everyone else but I feel failed by the government and the NRA. Joanie, your neighbor is a person who is right there with the liberals ******** on the constitution. Now we are watching things about to occur that our ancestors fought very hard against in the past.

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    Regular Member Griz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jordysoso View Post
    The senate passed the gun control bill. Step 1 to bans and confiscation. So you can ask that last statement to our senators now. I called them everyday for two weeks and vented my feelings about the bill that it should be tossed out, and now it's moving along with liberals resorting to political extortion to gain votes. How do you think Harry Reid got the minority leader to back the bill? Idk about everyone else but I feel failed by the government and the NRA. Joanie, your neighbor is a person who is right there with the liberals ******** on the constitution. Now we are watching things about to occur that our ancestors fought very hard against in the past.
    You must have the inside track, cuz I don't see it anywhere on the U.S. Senate website.

    Or is this it?

    http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LI...n=1&vote=00095
    Last edited by Griz; 04-11-2013 at 03:53 PM.

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    Regular Member NEOOpenCarry's Avatar
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    Orc

    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Read St. John v. McColley. Then call Slutz back, tell him about it, and ask him to read it. Tell him that if any of his officer try to do what he said they'd do, he'd be exposing them to being personally sued. Tell him that St. John is a recipe for piercing the qualified immunity that police officers normally enjoy.

    Also, if he is a high enough ranking city or MPD official that what he says it city or MPD policy, then he is exposing the city and the MPD to having immunity pierced.

    He needs to know that folks will hold him and his officers accountable for their crimes, even if we can only do so in civil court.

    BTW, under what ORC is an illegal detention a misdemeanor? I need to put that number in my bag--right next to St. John.
    This is what I was referring to.

    http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2921.45
    “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” - Thomas Jefferson

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    Massillon attempting to say open carry is illegal there

    Thanks. I'm relatively new to Ohio. I had a great handle on Alabama law, but had to start over from scratch a few months ago.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk.

    <o>

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    Quote Originally Posted by Griz View Post
    You must have the inside track, cuz I don't see it anywhere on the U.S. Senate website.

    Or is this it?

    http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LI...n=1&vote=00095
    That's the bill yes. If read in it's entirety, there will be new taxes along with AR bans an HIGH CAP MAGAZINE bans as amendments. They opened the door with the passing of the bill and now it will take ALOT to stop their momentum.

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    Regular Member MyWifeSaidYes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joanie
    ...
    My neighbor and I had a conversation yesterday where he came to shouting and I nearly did as well. We heard a radio talk show say something about banning guns. He feels strongly that citizens should not be allowed to own guns. I was surprized to hear this from him, and it made me realize just how big of a fight not only OCers have ahead of them, but anyone who wishes for the freedom to own and carry a gun in any fashon. He was calling people who had guns "stupid idiots" and said I should be taken away, locked up and my gun taken. The passion in his voice was such that I'm almost afraid he might make calls to try and make it happen.

    Whats with some people? Who refuse, or can't grasp the simple concept of personal freedom.
    To heck with Youngstown. We need to have an open carry walk in your front yard!

    I wonder what your neighbor would think about my 11-year-old daughter walking around openly carrying her firearms? Yes. Plural. Firearms.
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    What does a caring, sensitive person feel when they are forced to use a handgun to stop a threat?

    Recoil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jordysoso View Post
    The senate passed the gun control bill. Step 1 to bans and confiscation. So you can ask that last statement to our senators now. I called them everyday for two weeks and vented my feelings about the bill that it should be tossed out, and now it's moving along with liberals resorting to political extortion to gain votes. How do you think Harry Reid got the minority leader to back the bill? Idk about everyone else but I feel failed by the government and the NRA. Joanie, your neighbor is a person who is right there with the liberals ******** on the constitution. Now we are watching things about to occur that our ancestors fought very hard against in the past.
    Where the heck are you getting this information? No gun control bill has passed the US Senate. There was a vote on whether to filibuster the bill yesterday which the liberals won, but Mitch McConnell, the minority leader, voted in favor of the filibuster as did Ohio Senator Rob Portman.

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joanie View Post
    [I]...An open carry walk through Grove City would be interesting. The street I live on is in Franklin county Sheriffs juristition, but walk a few feet and you crossed over to Grove City juristition. I can see one form of police show up and we just cross over into the other juristiction...
    I hate to bust your bubble, but the sheriff's jurisdiction extends into Grove City. And I would also bet there is an agreement between the city and the county to allow each other assistance. These types of agreements are pretty common throughout the State.

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    Regular Member MyWifeSaidYes's Avatar
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    I have always been happy with Franklin county's lack of interest in my open carrying.

    I will admit to never having encountered a GCPD officer, so I don't know their take on things.

    I did contact the city a while back to tell them their rules in the skate park could not ban firearms. That sign has since been removed. I have not looked lately to see if a new sign has been posted.

    If the cold weather would stay away, it would be easier for me to OC there some weekend. This one would have been perfect as I don't really have anything else going on.
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    What does a caring, sensitive person feel when they are forced to use a handgun to stop a threat?

    Recoil.

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    Activist Member N605TW's Avatar
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    Re: Massillon attempting to say open carry is illegal there

    Count me in for an open carry walk in grove city. I carry at the walmart off of stringtown all the time. GCPD is hit or miss. Last time I had an encounter with them the officer did not notice my firearm until well into the encounter.

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    Regular Member MyWifeSaidYes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N605TW View Post
    Count me in for an open carry walk in grove city. I carry at the walmart off of stringtown all the time. GCPD is hit or miss. Last time I had an encounter with them the officer did not notice my firearm until well into the encounter.
    What kind of encounter? "Hi. How ya' doin'?" or "Up against the wall, mutha..."?
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    What does a caring, sensitive person feel when they are forced to use a handgun to stop a threat?

    Recoil.

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    Regular Member MyWifeSaidYes's Avatar
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    Have you been harassed by Columbus cops? I've never had any problem with Columbus PD and open carry.

    Save your open carry walks for cities and villages that 'need' them. That's why I was asking about Grove City. If your issues with them haven't been related to open carry, I doubt an open carry walk will do any good.

    Now, an open carry walk in front of your neighbor's house? It DEFINITELY won't do any good, but it would still be fun!

    ------------------------------------------------------------
    What does a caring, sensitive person feel when they are forced to use a handgun to stop a threat?

    Recoil.

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    Activist Member N605TW's Avatar
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    Re: Massillon attempting to say open carry is illegal there

    MyWifeSaidYes, my last encounter with Grove City was when two units approached me and my friend geocaching around 3am. I will admit that we looked suspicious. Short version is they ran my vehicle plate and my friends driver's license. Then told us to have fun.

    Joanie, sometime next week would work for me. I'm getting over a nasty cold and sharing is not always caring.

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    The best way to deal with the problem in Massillon is to get the municipal ordinance (549.12) repealed.

    Don't contact the Stark County Prosecutor's Office. They don't prosecute municipal ordinances, and all misdemeanors prosecuted in Massillon Municipal Court are under the jurisdiction of the Massillon City Prosecutor.

    Do contact the Massillon City Prosecutor (Pericles G. Stergios). Send him an email at prosecutor@massillonohio.com.
    Do contact the Massillon President of Council (Tony M. Townsend). Send him an email at councilpresident@massillonohio.com.

    Don't just chat them up on the phone, orally reciting law without citations. That is grossly ineffective.

    Do provide them with something in writing. This should be enough to interest them in reading further. All you need to do is fill in the descriptions of the ordinance in question.

    See what reaction that gets. If it does not get a positive reaction (or if it gets no response at all), stay in touch with your member who lives in the City of Massillon. You may need that person at a city council meeting. If it comes to that, I can probably show up at a meeting.

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    Regular Member NEOOpenCarry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Werz View Post
    The best way to deal with the problem in Massillon is to get the municipal ordinance (549.12) repealed.

    Don't contact the Stark County Prosecutor's Office. They don't prosecute municipal ordinances, and all misdemeanors prosecuted in Massillon Municipal Court are under the jurisdiction of the Massillon City Prosecutor.

    Do contact the Massillon City Prosecutor (Pericles G. Stergios). Send him an email at prosecutor@massillonohio.com.
    Do contact the Massillon President of Council (Tony M. Townsend). Send him an email at councilpresident@massillonohio.com.

    Don't just chat them up on the phone, orally reciting law without citations. That is grossly ineffective.

    Do provide them with something in writing. This should be enough to interest them in reading further. All you need to do is fill in the descriptions of the ordinance in question.

    See what reaction that gets. If it does not get a positive reaction (or if it gets no response at all), stay in touch with your member who lives in the City of Massillon. You may need that person at a city council meeting. If it comes to that, I can probably show up at a meeting.
    THANK YOU! This is exactly what we needed. I will be calling today as well as sending this letter. Thanks again!
    “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” - Thomas Jefferson

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    Regular Member MyWifeSaidYes's Avatar
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    On Saturday, I sent the following to the council president, the law director and the mayor (just so she knows what's going on).

    To whom it may concern-

    Can you please advise me on the laws regarding carrying firearms in Massillion?

    I prefer to openly carry my handgun in a hip holster. I was advised by an acquaintance that firearms are not allowed in the city, whether openly carried or concealed.

    Since this goes against state preemption (ORC 9.68), I was hoping you could confirm for me what the laws actually are.

    Thanks!

    <my name>
    <my email address>
    April 20, 2013


    No responses as of 3:45pm today (Monday), but quick responses are usually "I'll look into that" type messages. If they are looking into it, I should hear something back tomorrow or Wednesday.

    If I hear nothing by Friday, I'll email again and immediately make some phone calls to ask if their email system is working.

    UPDATE: I did receive a reply! The law director replied on Sunday but his email got caught in my spam filter. Here is his reply and my follow-up email:

    The city ordinances are basically the same as the Ohio Revised Code, the link below will lead you to them online, and chapter 549 of the City Ordinances addresses your question.
    Let me know if any questions.
    Thanks
    Perry Stergios
    And my reply to all:

    Perry-

    Thanks for your quick response! I really appreciate that.

    Also , thanks for providing me with the link to your city codes. I am not a lawyer, but it DOES look like you guys are violating state law.

    Your ordinance 549.12 starts out by saying “(a) No person shall carry on or about his person a pistol…”

    Unlike many other ordinances listed, 549.12 does not have a notation at the end showing what section of the ORC it is based on. I tried searching at codes.ohio.gov for a similar section but could not find one. If you know exactly which state code this ordinance is based on, could you forward that info, please?

    Again, I am not a lawyer, but your ordinance 549.12 appears to violate Ohio Revised Code 9.68 and should probably be repealed or amended ASAP. Should a person be arrested for violating that ordinance, your city may be in danger of lawsuits. As an attorney, you probably know that ORC 9.68 provides for awarding costs and attorney fees should you be sued.

    Thanks for your time and I hope to hear from you soon.
    Last edited by MyWifeSaidYes; 04-22-2013 at 04:23 PM. Reason: email caught in spam filter
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    What does a caring, sensitive person feel when they are forced to use a handgun to stop a threat?

    Recoil.

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    Regular Member MyWifeSaidYes's Avatar
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    Pericles G. Stergios

    Man, I just love that name.
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    What does a caring, sensitive person feel when they are forced to use a handgun to stop a threat?

    Recoil.

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyWifeSaidYes View Post
    Perry-

    Thanks for your quick response! I really appreciate that.

    Also , thanks for providing me with the link to your city codes. I am not a lawyer, but it DOES look like you guys are violating state law.

    Your ordinance 549.12 starts out by saying “(a) No person shall carry on or about his person a pistol…”

    Unlike many other ordinances listed, 549.12 does not have a notation at the end showing what section of the ORC it is based on. I tried searching at codes.ohio.gov for a similar section but could not find one. If you know exactly which state code this ordinance is based on, could you forward that info, please?

    Again, I am not a lawyer, but your ordinance 549.12 appears to violate Ohio Revised Code 9.68 and should probably be repealed or amended ASAP. Should a person be arrested for violating that ordinance, your city may be in danger of lawsuits. As an attorney, you probably know that ORC 9.68 provides for awarding costs and attorney fees should you be sued.

    Thanks for your time and I hope to hear from you soon.
    There is nothing more dangerous than a citizen with the law in their hands.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MyWifeSaidYes View Post
    And my reply to all:
    Perry-

    Thanks for your quick response! I really appreciate that.

    Also , thanks for providing me with the link to your city codes. I am not a lawyer, but it DOES look like you guys are violating state law.

    Your ordinance 549.12 starts out by saying “(a) No person shall carry on or about his person a pistol…”

    Unlike many other ordinances listed, 549.12 does not have a notation at the end showing what section of the ORC it is based on. I tried searching at codes.ohio.gov for a similar section but could not find one. If you know exactly which state code this ordinance is based on, could you forward that info, please?

    Again, I am not a lawyer, but your ordinance 549.12 appears to violate Ohio Revised Code 9.68 and should probably be repealed or amended ASAP. Should a person be arrested for violating that ordinance, your city may be in danger of lawsuits. As an attorney, you probably know that ORC 9.68 provides for awarding costs and attorney fees should you be sued.

    Thanks for your time and I hope to hear from you soon.
    His first response was very likely "off the cuff." Now that you have been very specific, the next response will probably take longer. He will likely realize that 549.12 does not reflect a Revised Code prohibition, that the city is vulnerable under R.C. 9.68, and that he needs to talk to city council about it. How quickly that happens will depend on his relationship with city council.

    On your next follow-up, you might mention Alliance. They're at opposite ends of the county, but if he decides to contact Mr. Zumbar, he may learn that everyone's life will be easier if he just convinces city council to repeal the ordinance.

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    Did something interesting happen in Alliance? Being new to the State, there may be some 2A history of which I am unaware.

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    Regular Member MyWifeSaidYes's Avatar
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    Alliance had an issue with harassing an OC'er in a park with an invalid "No firearms" law.

    Although the thread is at OFCC, it's worth glancing over: http://ohioccwforums.org/viewtopic.php?t=62433

    The original post by TerryW on that board is:

    I went to our city park tonight after dinner to walk my dog as I do several nights a week. And as usual I was open carrying. Only thing different about tonight, is that there was a cop parked in the lot. I got out at about the same time as he did, when I heard " sir want to cover that up" I said "no" 'Well if I get one complaint I'm going to arrest you for inducing a panic. I told him what I was doing was perfectly legal and walked away. He circled the park, came back to the lot and informed me that according to city ordinance I could not carry in the park and that a supervisor was on the way. The super' had the ordinance highlighted and showed it to me. I tried to explain that state law supersedes a city ordinance, but all I got was that they didn't know anything about that, and basically that they can't keep up with the "laws" Asked for ID and at first I was going to refuse but he threatened to arrest me on the spot, so I caved. They also said I must be looking for a police confrontation because I recorded this confrontation. lol ( they recorded me ) I've read for years on these forums about how police act, and now I have seen it first hand. Upon parting, I was told that they will be looking into this matter, and a arrest warrant "might" be forthcoming.
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    What does a caring, sensitive person feel when they are forced to use a handgun to stop a threat?

    Recoil.

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