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Government and Politics


Oberlin debates gun-free parks
State law forces the northeast Ohio city to lift its local gun ban
Story by AKILAH PORTER


 
Ron Rimbert, President of Oberlin City Council
Courtesy of City of Oberlin
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In The Region:

Oberlin City Council is planning to vote next week on whether to lift its ban on guns in parks.

Ohio’s law permitting concealed weapons in parks overrides any city law.

The president of the Oberlin City Council, Ronnie Rimbert,says he, along with the other council members, are against this state law but feels the best solution for now is to comply.

Rimbert explains council's position

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“I’m not happy with the state law, I’d rather see some home rule be involved where we can make our own decision, but the state has decided that’s not what they want to see happen,” Rimbert said. “The city of Clyde, they challenged it all the way to Ohio’s Supreme Court and lost. The city of Cleveland, they challenged it to the Supreme Court, they also lost.” 

Rimbert says council is split with four members set to eliminate the ban and three who don’t want to. 

On the other side of the spectrum, gun owners are happy to hear city council will be enforcing state law. 

Doug Deeken is with Ohioans for Concealed Carry. He says people need to be able to defend themselves.

Deeken explains why gun owner rights are important
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(0:13)

“You don’t have the right to free speech if you’ve been silence by some maniac on the streets; you don’t have the right to peacefully assemble if the people who you would assemble with live in fear of the criminal element—and it’s just that simple,” Deeken said. 

Deeken says he knows the city council members aren’t happy to enforce the law, but he they are doing the right thing. 

Council will vote Sept. 16 on the ordinance.

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