Bill would stop state law enforcement from enforcing federal gun laws

A bill that would stop Ohio law enforcement officers from enforcing federal gun regulations that are more restrictive than state law is drawing opposition from county prosecutors, chiefs of police and mayors.

Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Loveland, called the proposed legislation a response to federal regulations she said infringes on Second Amendment rights.

“This is a straightforward bill that will ensure Ohioan’s Second Amendment rights are not infringed. This bill eliminates references of the United States Code as they relate to gun laws in Ohio,” Schmidt said in testimony. “The ATF’s recent attempt to curtail Second Amendment rights by classifying legal handguns as illegal short-barrel rifles was a clear overreach of the federal government against law-abiding citizens. This bill helps to stand against these unlawful rules by ensuring that Ohio gun law is the standard for those who reside in Ohio.”

House Bill 51 would stop law enforcement officers, including prosecutors, from enforcing or attempting to enforce any federal acts, laws, executive orders, administrative orders, rules, regulations, statutes or ordinances infringing on the right to bear arms.

It also stops local communities from hiring a person who is or was an official, agent, employee or deputy of the U.S. government or who is acting under federal law to try to enforce Second Amendment infringements.

The Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association believes the bill would cooperation between local, state and federal law enforcement and negatively impact the use of the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network.

“In Ohio, like in other states, law enforcement engage in a variety of joint task forces with the federal government that are made up of local, state, and federal law enforcement officers. Local and state officials can be deputized as federal law enforcement officials,” testified Louis Tobin, executive director of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association. “The cooperation and information sharing that takes place on these task forces is critical to law enforcement’s ability to remove violent firearms offenders from the street and to protect the public from violent crime.”

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