Handgun

Norton has joined a half-dozen other towns in a suit seeking to strike down an act in Columbus they say would pre-empt home rule.

AKRON – The city of Norton has joined about half a dozen other communities in a suit to block an act in the Ohio General Assembly that they allege violates home rule.

The initial suit against House Bill 228, an act that would prohibit any municipality from restricting the manufacture, sale or possession of firearms and ammunition beyond what is already provided for in the Ohio Revised Code, was filed in November. The initial filing asked for an injunction against the act, which was scheduled to take effect Dec. 28. Along with Norton, the plaintiffs include Barberton, Cleveland, Cuyahoga Falls and Tallmadge.

The court denied the preliminary injunction but gave the plaintiffs until Jan. 10 to reply to the state’s motion to dismiss the case entirely. A trial for the suit is set for June 22.

“We probably have different reasons for this than the other plaintiffs but we have common cause,” Norton law director Justin Markey told The Post.

Markey said the law as written pre-empts home rule.

“For instance, this can affect our ordinance against discharging firearms within the city limits,” Markey said.

He added that it allows outside groups standing to challenge local ordinances. If they prevail, the municipality would have to pay all attorney fees.

“The state has taken the position that this does not pre-empt local ordinances,” Markey said. “We disagree.”

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