Appeals Court Shoots Down Cleveland's Gun Offender Registry

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A state appeals court this week ruled Cleveland's gun offender registry unconstitutional after several years of back-and-forth litigation over the local laws. The court insisted that state law supersedes local municipalities' attempts to regulate gun ownership.

You'll recall that Mayor Frank Jackson touted the registry as a big step forward in combating the city's gun violence. The idea was to force those convicted of gun-related crimes to register their firearm with a city database within five days that conviction — or face a separate charge that carried up to six months in jail or a $1,000 fine. (You may also recall that, early on, no one was participating.) Jackson has said that the city closely tracked its legal language with state law, though part of the goal here was to maintain local oversight of the registry, to keep convicted criminals close to the city's reach.

Ohioans for Concealed Carry challenged Cleveland's gun-control legislation, leading to the ongoing court cases. (Jackson has already said he'll be appealing this ruling.)

A plethora of other gun control-type laws passed in the last few years were also struck down by the appeals court this week. Jackson indicated that he plans to get the offender registry and similar laws back on the books in Cleveland by making "minor changes to the definitions of 'automatic weapons' and 'dangerous ordinance' in the City’s ordinances. Corrective language has already been proposed."

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