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Thread: Dayton public transit (RTA) has a problem with **lawfully carried firearms**

  1. #1
    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Dayton public transit (RTA) has a problem with **lawfully carried firearms**

    (and they don’t care about Ohio law)

    Long story, short: for a couple of years, Dayton’s RTA (Regional Transit Authority) has ignored communications from both me and my Dayton friend Albert Cowlan (and others, I suspect) regarding firearm prohibitions in RTA’s “rules”. These prohibitions can be found in the RTA “Facilities Code of Conduct” and “Rules of the Road”.

    Messages would be sent, but either nothing at all, or nothing responsive was forthcoming.

    Fast forward to today. I found out that RTA was having a Board of Trustees meeting this afternoon, so I drove to Dayton and attended. I signed up to speak to the board, and told them that as a political subdivision, they had to comply with ORC 9.68, and the rest of Ohio’s gun laws, including those which allow people to carry a firearm outdoors on their public property, and those with a CHL to carry a firearm on their busses. (Oh, did I mention the signage outside the transit center which claimed it was “private property”?)

    The President of the Board directed me to talk to the CEO Mark Donaghy, who I spoke to after the meeting. Regarding their “rules” against firearm carry, he stated that their “position” was that they were disallowed; essentially saying “So sue us!”. He also made it clear that he had received a number of communications over the years about their non-compliance with the law, but it sounded like they were round-filed. He was extremely arrogant.

    Before leaving the RTA property, I asked an RTA “security” employee to summon the Dayton police, which he did, and we met outside. The young officer decided to play the role of an arrogant uninformed opinion enforcement officer, insisting among other things that RTA was PRIVATE property. The older LAW enforcement officer suggested I call a Dayton prosecutor whose number he supplied me with rather than returning to my car to retrieve my gun, and carrying on the property. I took him up on his suggestion, but before departing, I told the younger officer that I would make sure he and RTA was straightened out.

    Updates will be posted as appropriate.


    Link to RTA: http://www.i-riderta.org/

    "Facilities Code of Conduct": http://www.i-riderta.org/about-rta/resources/2355.PDF

    "Rules of the Road": http://www.i-riderta.org/about-rta/resources/2356.PDF

  2. #2
    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Very professionally done, especially when dealing with such nonprofessional behavior. Everything recorded to confirm the lies later?
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    Very professionally done, especially when dealing with such nonprofessional behavior. Everything recorded to confirm the lies later?
    You know it, baby!

    Now, the quality of the recording may not be the greatest, though...

  4. #4
    Regular Member davidmcbeth's Avatar
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    Now you know why you got no response ..... time for some records request ....

    Do not take any postings to be the opinion of the poster .. poster may be posting opinions of others and not necessarily himself ... carry on

    "Filing a notice of trespass with your local, county, state authorities , to keep all town employees off your land, would cut down on the government from interfering or harassing you, at least put you in a little bit stronger legal position" .. chk you local laws (disclaimer)

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    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Note to the RTA's counsel

    Mr. Hollingsworth,

    I'm directing my communications to you because Mr. Donaghy told me that anything sent to him on the subject matter I raised at the BoT meeting would be forwarded to you.

    Based on my brief conversation with him yesterday, and my own experiences with RTA regarding the matter, I've concluded the following: the mindset of "It's our policy" and a certain amount of arrogance that "We know best" is felt to trump settled Ohio law.

    Of course, since you're new to RTA, I blame none of this on you; but you now have the opportunity to set things right before lots of needless time and expense is involved defending the indefensible.

    I've copied into this e-mail two attorneys from the City of Cincinnati, with whom I've corresponded recently on similar subject matter. I urge you to speak with them.

    You and I both know that the Miami Valley Regional Transit Authority (RTA) is a political subdivision. As such, the RTA is subject to ORC 9.68, Ohio's firearm preemption law. Here's a link to it: http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/gp9.68 You'll note that part of it allows for the award of costs and reasonable attorney fees to successful challengers.

    ORC 9.68 has been upheld and/or referenced in two cases which went to the Ohio Supreme Court: Cleveland v State, and Ohioans for Concealed Carry v Clyde. I urge you to read them.

    Finally, here is a link to the Ohio Attorney General's Concealed Carry Handbook: http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/F...s-Manual-(PDF) I urge you to read it.

    Afterwards, and at a minimum, RTA needs to do the following:

    1) Stop claiming that public property, open to the public, is private property
    2) Modify the "Rules of the Road" and "Facilities Code of Conduct" so that they are in compliance with Ohio law
    3) Re-train its employees on the above facts
    4) Recognize that with a valid Ohio License to Carry a Concealed Handgun, or its equivalent, one may carry a loaded handgun, concealed or openly, on RTA buses & trolleys
    5) Recognize that with a valid Ohio License to Carry a Concealed Handgun, or its equivalent, one may carry a loaded handgun concealed on RTA grounds & parking lots
    6) Recognize that an individual not otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm may carry it openly on RTA grounds & parking lots


    As as attorney in a position of what I understand to be RTA's outside counsel, you have an obligation, through your oath, to ensure that RTA complies with all state, Federal, and local laws, and that RTA policies/rules/etc. conform to those laws.

    I look forward to your prompt reply.


    Cordially,

  6. #6
    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Open Records request

    Mr. Hollingsworth,

    It was nice to meet you yesterday at the Board of Trustees meeting.

    Yesterday Mr. Donaghy acknowledged receiving, directly or indirectly, a number of communications regarding RTA's firearms/weapons policies. I suspect that those he received, directly or indirectly, pointed out that RTA's policies on the matter were not/are not in compliance with Ohio law.

    Based on my personal experience with RTA and those which have been reported to me, I've gotten the distinct impression that responses on that subject matter, IF they were sent, involve repeating the phrase "Our policy is...".

    Pursuant to Ohio's Sunshine Law, please supply me with:

    1) Electronic copies of all communications received or transmitted since 12/31/2013 which reference or question RTA's firearms and/or weapons prohibitions - in general or as referenced in RTA's "Rules of the Road", "Facilities Code of Conduct", or their predecessors.

    2) Documentation indicating the names & e-mail addresses of RTA's board members


    Item #1 above should be understood to include internal communications also.

    If you have questions about this request, don't hesitate to call.



    Cordially,

    me




    http://www.i-riderta.org/


    "Rules of the Road": http://www.i-riderta.org/about-rta/resources/2356.PDF

    15) Customers may not carry onto an RTA vehicle any item, which could cause injury or damage to RTA riders or property including firearms, knives or such hazardous materials as gasoline, propane tanks or car batteries.


    Facilities Code of Conduct: http://www.i-riderta.org/about-rta/resources/2355.PDF

    "While on RTA property, you are prohibited from:

    1) Carrying or possessing weapons of any kind, including weapons carried pursuant to a valid license."
    Last edited by BB62; 10-05-2016 at 10:21 AM.

  7. #7
    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    They really hate when you use their laws against their own elitism.
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

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    Regular Member davidmcbeth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    They really hate when you use their laws against their own elitism.
    Not really, they just ignore them.
    Do not take any postings to be the opinion of the poster .. poster may be posting opinions of others and not necessarily himself ... carry on

    "Filing a notice of trespass with your local, county, state authorities , to keep all town employees off your land, would cut down on the government from interfering or harassing you, at least put you in a little bit stronger legal position" .. chk you local laws (disclaimer)

    If a posting looks like its funny - its meant to be so-

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    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    One sign:

    Last edited by BB62; 10-06-2016 at 04:45 PM. Reason: image edited

  10. #10
    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    They are claiming private property, eh?

    What happens if you violate their "strictly enforced code?" Told to leave their private property, or citations and arrests?
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    They are claiming private property, eh?

    What happens if you violate their "strictly enforced code?" Told to leave their private property, or citations and arrests?
    Read their rules/code (links in the first post) to see what might befall you.

    I was told that I'd be cited for trespassing if I returned to the property that day with my openly carried gun.
    Last edited by BB62; 10-06-2016 at 10:03 AM.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    They are claiming private property, eh?

    What happens if you violate their "strictly enforced code?" Told to leave their private property, or citations and arrests?
    Quote Originally Posted by BB62 View Post
    Read their rules/code (links in the first post) to see what might befall you.

    I was told that I'd be cited for trespassing if I returned to the property that day with my openly carried gun.
    Need to have a pro attorney contact their legal representative. That might be all it will take.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Need to have a pro attorney contact their legal representative. That might be all it will take.
    All in good time...

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    Quote Originally Posted by BB62 View Post
    One sign:

    Did they forget to grammar check too?

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BB62 View Post
    All in good time...
    May the force be with you!
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  16. #16
    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Another picture taken at the Transit Stop. (or whatever its name is)






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    E-mail to media, sent 10/7/16

    My name is Jeffry Smith, from Cincinnati. I’m a firearms instructor and civil rights activist, generally focusing on matters related to firearms. I became interested in this matter because of personal contacts and from reading reports of others.

    Here’s the bottom line of this e-mail:

    Among other things, Dayton’s RTA falsely claims that public property, in the form of RTA’s land and buses, is private property. Perpetuating this falsehood, and against settled Ohio law, RTA has established rules/codes/etc. that disallow the legal carry of firearms on RTA’s property and buses.

    Over the past few years, at a minimum, individuals including myself have informed RTA that their firearm prohibition is contrary to state law. Then as now, it seems, they have ignored/effectively ignored such communications or merely cited their “policy”.

    It should be noted that the Cincinnati public transit authority has already examined matters such as this and has no restrictions on firearm carry.

    So, at some point, legal action may be necessary to ensure that RTA complies with Ohio law.


    Two things: 1) besides ccing RTA’s outside counsel (Jonathan Hollingsworth), you’ll note that I have also cced the Dayton Police (Chief’s assistant), the Montgomery County Sheriff, Dayton’s Law Director (secretary) & Chief Prosecutor, and the Montgomery County head criminal prosecutor, and 2) although some of the subject matter relates to both sidearms (handguns) and long arms (rifles & shotguns), unless otherwise noted, I will confine my remarks to sidearm (handgun) carry.

    *** *** ***

    * Recent activity *

    On Tuesday, October 4, 2016 I drove to Dayton to visit the Transit Center adjacent to RTA headquarters. I was openly carrying a handgun in a holster and was fully aware of RTA’s “Rules of Road” and “Code of Conduct” (links below).

    I asked to speak to a supervisor and was put in contact with Tony Nicely as well as a representative of Homeland Security. I asked Tony about RTA’s firearm policy and was told that RTA policy disallowed firearms. I asked for the name of Tony’s supervisor – Gerry Gustin, who wasn’t going to be in until 3PM or so. I asked whether the public was permitted to speak to the Board at the Board of Trustees meeting, also at 3PM, and Tony said “Yes”.

    I left Tony and the HS representative and walked back towards my car, despite Tony’s protest that I could not have a gun on RTA’s property. I told him that it was perfectly legal for me to do so, and I said something to the effect that he would be told so soon enough, since I was sure the Board would rectify the situation.

    Shortly before 3PM I disarmed and travelled to RTA’s third floor, where I signed up to speak. I noted that there was a manned video camera, so I asked if the proceedings were to be recorded – and was told “Yes”.

    During my speaking time Mr. Hollingsworth acknowledged that RTA was a political subdivision. During my speaking time or just afterward, Mark Donaghy (RTA’s CEO) acknowledged being in receipt of multiple communications regarding the subject of RTA’s prohibitory firearm policy. After the meeting adjourned Mr. Donaghy told me that RTA’s “policy” prohibited firearms. He would not address the legalities of the matter.

    After leaving the meeting I went downstairs and saw Tony Nicely again. I asked him to summon the Dayton Police. He did so and we all met outside. I’ll save myself typing the entirety of the conversation, but Detective William Swisher of the Dayton Police told me I’d be cited for trespassing if I were to retrieve my sidearm from my car and return to RTA property with it. Det. Swisher suggested I instead contact Stephanie Cook, Dayton’s Chief Prosecutor, and gave me her phone number.

    Dayton officer Gabbard, who was with Det. Swisher, insisted that RTA property was private property. Gabbard, who evidently fancies himself an opinion enforcement officer, rather than a law enforcement officer, in addition to saying (essentially) “You’re not even from around here!”, questioned my motives. I will be filing a formal complaint regarding Officer Gabbard’s conduct.

    I have an audio recording of all my interactions with the various people identified above.


    * Ohio firearms law primer *

    1) Ohio has “preemption” in matters related to firearms. What that means in layman’s terms is that Ohio’s firearm laws (Federal laws are another subject) are set at the *state* level. No lower level government or government entity can establish laws, rules, or regulations in addition to or more strict than state firearm laws.

    2) Ohio’s firearm preemption law is ORC (Ohio Revised Code) 9.68: http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/gp9.68

    3) Note that ORC 9.68 provides: “(B) In addition to any other relief provided, the court shall award costs and reasonable attorney fees to any person, group, or entity that prevails in a challenge to an ordinance, rule, or regulation as being in conflict with this section.”

    4) A common term for a “lower level government or government entity” is “political subdivision”.

    5) Dayton’s RTA (Miami Valley Regional Transit Authority) is a political subdivision.

    - Various references to the establishment and operation of a county transit system, ORC 306.01 +: http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/Search/306.01
    - ORC 306.31: “… A regional transit authority so created is a political subdivision of the state…” http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/306.31
    - Montgomery County web page: http://www.mcohio.org/government/ele...ty_-_gdrta.php

    6) ORC 9.68 and/or its preemptive power has been part of two cases decided by the Ohio Supreme Court:

    - City of Cleveland Vs State of Ohio: http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/rod/do...-ohio-6318.pdf
    - Ohioans for Concealed carry Vs City of Clyde: http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/rod/do...-Ohio-4605.pdf

    7) Ohio law allows for concealed or open handgun carry in/on motor vehicles by those who possess an Ohio License to Carry a Concealed Handgun, or its recognized equivalent

    8) Ohio law allows the open carry of firearms on public property open to the public by those who can legally possess a firearm


    * Conclusion *

    RTA has no credibility - their claim of “private property” and their multi-year inaction once alerted to their violation of the law provides plenty of evidence. Furthermore, based on my readings and personal experience, it’s clear to me that RTA, with or without the approval of the Board, has been engaged in a multi-year conspiracy to deny individuals of their rights under the law. I have no idea whether or not this apparent conspiracy involves the Dayton Police, the Montgomery County Sheriff, or the respective prosecutors.

    On Wednesday I sent two e-mails to Mr. Hollingsworth, the contents of which I would be glad to share with interested parties. They describe, in part, the outcome and records I’m seeking.

    I have attached a few photos taken at the Wright Transit Center.


    Cordially,

    Jeffry Smith
    xxx-xxx-xxxx




    http://www.i-riderta.org/about-rta/resources/2356.PDF (Rules of Road)

    http://www.i-riderta.org/about-rta/resources/2355.PDF (Code of Conduct)

    RTA’s outside counsel
    Jonathan Hollingsworth
    xxx-xxx-xxxx
    JHollingsworth@xxxxxx.com

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    TV interview

    I was just interviewed about this matter by Kelly May of Dayton channels 22 & 45. I'm not sure when it will air, but I'll post a direct link when I'm supplied with one.

    www.abc22now.com

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    Auditor's office images

    Here are a couple of images (in addition to more images of the "Private Property" postings at the Transit Center) that I supplied to Ms. May (channels 22 & 45 TV reporter).

    They are from the Montgomery County Auditor's website, and show parcel numbers. ALL the parcels that make up the transit center are owned by the Miami Valley Regional Transit Authority. (there are other related matters I'm working on)

    The Transit Center is the series of five silver-colored things in the middle of the block.




  20. #20
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BB62 View Post
    I was just interviewed about this matter by Kelly May of Dayton channels 22 & 45. I'm not sure when it will air, but I'll post a direct link when I'm supplied with one.

    www.abc22now.com
    Will be looking forward to viewing that.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BB62 View Post
    Here are a couple of images (in addition to more images of the "Private Property" postings at the Transit Center) that I supplied to Ms. May (channels 22 & 45 TV reporter).

    They are from the Montgomery County Auditor's website, and show parcel numbers. ALL the parcels that make up the transit center are owned by the Miami Valley Regional Transit Authority. (there are other related matters I'm working on)

    The Transit Center is the series of five silver-colored things in the middle of the block.



    But what about the children?
    Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.

    William Pitt



    "If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."

    Samuel Adams









  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by gutshot View Post
    But what about the children?
    I have yet to playback the audio recording I have, but I seem to recall the CEO saying something about their "position" being related to the safety of their passengers.

    <shakes head>

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    Quote Originally Posted by BB62 View Post
    I have yet to playback the audio recording I have, but I seem to recall the CEO saying something about their "position" being related to the safety of their passengers.

    <shakes head>
    Almost makes one want to do an FIOA (whatever OHIO calls these) request for the numbers of persons ASSAULTED on one of the RTA conveyances or transit stops/property annually for the last 10 years. Cuz it is "for the safety of their passengers"
    RIGHTS don't exist without RESPONSIBILITY!
    If one is not willing to stand for his rights, he doesn't have any Rights.
    I will strive to stand for the rights of ANY person, even those folks with whom I disagree!
    As said by SVG--- "I am not anti-COP, I am PRO-Citizen" and I'll add, PRO-Constitution.
    If the above makes me a RADICAL or EXTREME--- So be it!

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    2nd amendment says.... "...The right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!"

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    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSparky View Post
    Almost makes one want to do an FIOA (whatever OHIO calls these) request for the numbers of persons ASSAULTED on one of the RTA conveyances or transit stops/property annually for the last 10 years. Cuz it is "for the safety of their passengers"
    It's called a "records request" or "open records request". Ohio has Sunshine Laws: https://ohioauditor.gov/publications...hineManual.pdf

    I don't know what kind of statistics could be obtained, but eventually, if necessary, I'll attempt to find out the number of people charged with criminal trespass. The problem will be categorizing the reasons for the charge.

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    Multiple prongs---- numbers of assaults (their stated purpose of the weapons prohibition is for "safety") and numbers of persons trespassed.

    Carry ON--- in multiple ways!
    RIGHTS don't exist without RESPONSIBILITY!
    If one is not willing to stand for his rights, he doesn't have any Rights.
    I will strive to stand for the rights of ANY person, even those folks with whom I disagree!
    As said by SVG--- "I am not anti-COP, I am PRO-Citizen" and I'll add, PRO-Constitution.
    If the above makes me a RADICAL or EXTREME--- So be it!

    Life Member NRA
    Life Member GOA
    2nd amendment says.... "...The right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!"

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