Concealed Carry Opponents Exposed for Making Inaccurate Statements

Thursday, January 3rd, 2002

With a decision expected within the week on the Second Amendment Foundation’s (SAF) lawsuit to overturn the unconstitutional laws barring self-defense through legal concealed carry of firearms, the other side is getting desperate as the facts simply aren’t on their side.

“As usual, opponents of self-defense have resorted to emotional rhetoric and ignored the facts to further their selfish goals,” stated Alan Gottlieb. “Mr. Lowy in particular has distinguished himself in this area and should know better as an attorney for the anti-gun Brady Center to Prevent Handgun Violence.

Mr. Lowy was quoted in a Cleveland Plain Dealer article on December 26, 2001 as making several deceptive statements. The biggest being that if the concealed carry ban is overturned, “This would be the only state in the country with no regulations.”

The fact is that Vermont has allowed concealed carry without a license or other prohibitive regulations since 1903. This is because of a Vermont Supreme Court decision, State v. Rosenthal, 75 Vt. 295, 55 A. 610 (1903) which threw out a city carry license law as a violation of the Vermont’s Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. If Ohio’s law is similarly overturned, Ohio will become the second state, not the “only” state.

A quick look at the website of the Brady Campaign, the sister organization to the Brady Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, finds that Mr. Lowy should have known this fact as the truth about Vermont is listed repeatedly and viewed unfavorably on this site at www.bradycampaign.com using their own search engine.

Nationally, 42 states specifically allow the carrying of concealed weapons or firearms with a license or permit. Vermont makes 43 states by allowing the carrying of concealed firearms without any license/permit because of a court decision, State v. Rosenthal (1903). Of the remaining 7 states, Ohio is unique with its incomprehensible affirmative defense and on whom the burden of proof is placed.

As for the remaining 7 states, only Ohio has the undefined affirmative defense language with the burden of proof on the person prosecuted. In Nebraska, the burden of proof is on the state to show criminal intent.

“The truth about the rest of the country needs to be heard, as must the fact that Ohio is totally alone in how they force people to prove their innocence with a carry law that even long-time veteran police officers cannot understand,” said Gottlieb, referring to Lt. Col. Richard Janke’s testimony at trial.

“It is the media’s responsibility to accurately report the affect of the pending decision,” added Gottlieb. “This duty includes challenging factual errors by either side and not repeating inaccurate information to the public.”

Last year, opponents of concealed carry also made the preposterous claim that overturning these laws would arm criminals and children. Fortunately, the media is not repeating this garbage as it has been proven that other state and federal laws would remain in effect (see http://www.saf.org/Ohio.htm for details). In addition, R.C. 2923.121 bars possession of firearms in liquor establishments and R.C. 2923.122 bars weapons in school zones.

“The Second Amendment Foundation’s lawsuit has been a sleeper story for well over a year,” said Dave LaCourse, SAF Public Affairs Director. “It is time to wake up and understand that the role of the Judiciary is to interpret laws and review their Constitutionality. If we prevail in our challenge, people will begin reading the Ohio Constitution and begin learning in detail the fundamental unfairness of the current carry scheme.”