- Ohio's concealed weapons law came under Þre in
a Cincinnati court this week when a pizza delivery man won the right to
carry a gun for protection.
- The judge said that Ohio's law is unfair because it treats
"decent citizens like criminals."
- The delivery man' Patrick Feely, 29, was arrested in
September for carrying a handgun under his shirt.
- The Norwood man told police he wanted the gun for protection
because his delivery job required him to carry hundreds of dollars at a
- "Everybody nowadays needs some kind of protection
from criminals,"; Mr. Feely said Tuesday. "You need to be able
to defend yourself.";
- In his decision Monday, Judge Thomas Crush said Mr. Feely
had a constitutional right to protect himself while working a job with
a high risk for robbery. He threw out the charges against Mr. Feely.
- He also said Ohio's concealed weapons law is þawed
because it does not distinguish between criminals and people who carry
guns for their own protection.
- Under the existing law, he said, people must go on trial
to Þnd out whether they have the right to carry a gun.
- "An honest person in a difficult or dangerous job
must subject himself to trial like a criminal,"; Judge Crush said.
"It's treating decent citizens like criminals.
- The judge said state law should allow law-abiding citizens
to get permits to carry a concealed weapon for protection. That decision'
though, is up to the state legislature.
- Mr. Feelers attorney, Tim Smith, said the case shows
why the law needs to change.
- "The (concealed weapons) law is unconstitutional,";
Mr. Smith said. "In effect, it takes away a constitutional right.";
- On one hand, he said, Ohio's constitution allows carrying
a gun to protect life and property. On the other, state law bars people
from carrying a concealed weapon under any circumstances.
- Mr. Feely said he has worked several delivery jobs and
was so concerned about robbery that he began carrying a handgun five years
- At the time of his arrest, he was working for a Cincinnati
company that supplies pizza, subs and sandwiches to street vendors.
- Police stopped his car for an expired plate and noticed
a knife in the car. When the officer asked whether he had any other weapons,
Mr. Feely told him about the gun.
- Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen said the police
ofÞcer acted appropriately when he arrested Mr. Feely.
- But he acknowledged the law might need some work.
- "Perhaps it is something the legislature should
take a look at," Mr. Allen said.
- SIGHTINGS HOMEPAGE
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