The Associated Press reported on Saturday that Ohio’s Supreme Court will hear arguments early next year to rule if a law that prohibits gun owners from carrying firearms while intoxicated can apply to inside that gun owner’s home.
Sensing an opportunity to entrap even more legal gun owners in their disarmament net, gun rights opponents contend that upholding such a use of the statute is necessary for “the safety of Ohio residents and responding police officers.”
This moves the disarmament setting from the workplace and roadways to gunowners’ living rooms, which is as Ammoland’s David Codread says has always been the goal of the gun control advocates long game.
Though the filing is short on details, the AP report offers sufficient clues for those interested in some investigative journalism of their own. By doing a simple search on the Ohio State Supreme Court website using the terms “drunk + firearms,” the result reveals a lot.
Consider one search result that led to State v. Weber, a case in which after the defendant’s wife told police there was no problem, they pressed in the house anyway. After finding him inebriated but nonthreatening, the man told police the shotgun was not loaded which they confirmed. Despite this, the appeals court affirmed the appellant’s conviction.
The man’s conviction raises some major concerns about legality and probable cause. According to David Codread, “R.C. 2923.15 does not as suggested by appellant, criminalize the mere presence of a firearm in the home of an intoxicated person. Nor does the statute, as suggested by appellant, prohibit a person from carrying or using a firearm after consuming alcoholic beverages. Rather, the statute only prohibits the use or carrying of a firearm by a person who has imbibed to the point of intoxication.”
Ohio’s OVU laws define the “point of intoxication: as a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.08, or 0.02 if under 21. That means a citizen old enough to serve in the military can reach the legally defined level of intoxication after just one drink.
In essence, the Ohio statute means that should a home invader threaten your life or property, using a legally owned gun with one drink in your blood system could land you in jail. It’s understandable that alcohol and carrying is an issue of public safety but should that also regulate lawful behavior in one’s own home?
Again, Codread writes, “While it’s unlikely that most prosecutors would make a stink over something like that–it doesn’t sound like the man in question was acting in such a manner–it doesn’t mean no one ever will. No one should be prosecuted for protecting their own life. Moreover, no one should have to be worried about it.”
Hopefully, the Ohio State Supreme Court will rule according to the Constitution and not gun-control pressure.