Upper Arlington Changes Local Laws To Allow Guns In Public Parks


UPDATED: Sunday May 4, 2014 12:21 AM

A decision by the city means residents in Upper Arlington could soon be seeing people with guns at public parks.

Upper Arlington officials said they have to allow people to openly carry guns in city parks in order to comply with state law.

Upper Arlington officials said recent lawsuits have forced local cities to take their gun laws off the books even though they haven't been enforced in years.

They said this is the result of Ohio legislature prohibiting municipalities from exercising home rule.

Gun advocates told 10TV that this is all about making laws consistent across the state.

“It's been made abundantly clear by the courts now that these local ordinances that prohibited guns in municipal parks were not legal according to Ohio state statutes,” said Upper Arlington City Manager, Ted Staton.

Some in favor of allowing guns in parks told 10TV they think it might help make the place feel safer against people with bad intentions.

Parents visiting one Upper Arlington park said they don't agree.

“I don't know that I see the need for the parks in Arlington to be held safer by guns. The potential for an accident and the ramifications of an accident like that could be so significant,” said Upper Arlington parent Julia Lloyd.

Accident or not, Lloyd said the last thing she and her husband, Chris, want is for someone to open fire and strike their two boys.

“If someone's carrying one around for their own safety, I can respect that, but I don't necessarily want them around my children in a public park with it,” said Chris Lloyd.

Upper Arlington officials also said cities have had to pay court costs to those who challenge the discrepancy in the laws and win.

City officials remind the public that it is still illegal to discharge a firearm within city limits.

Hilliard and New Albany have also recently updated city code to allow people to carry guns in parks.

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