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Franklin County judge blocks portion of a state gun law that pre-empts cities rules

Three and a half years after the city of Columbus filed a challenge to the state's right to override local legislation on guns, a judge has granted a preliminary injunction blocking the state law. The temporary ban clears the way for a court case on the extent of home-rule authority.

The root of the dispute is a 2018 Columbus regulation that barred firearms manufacturers in residential-zone areas. An oft-overlooked portion of the state gun law passed a year later expanded the list of ways the state could pre-empt local laws, including the "manufacture, taxation, and keeping" of firearms and ammunition, over riding the Columbus regulation.

The law was passed, despite a veto from then Governor John Kasich, who noted at the time the expansion unconstitutionally stripped the right of municipalities to make their own rules on guns. Columbus filed a suit over that state law in 2019 -- and the lawsuit languished for three years stalled in the court of Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Stephen McIntosh . Last week city attorney Zack Klein announced the city was filing a lawsuit with the Ohio Supreme Court against McIntosh, for failing take action.

In his ruling Thursday McIntosh said he granted the preliminary ban on the state law because Columbus has a "likelihood of success" in proving the state overstepped its rights in 2019 when it overrode the city's right to make regulations on guns.

No date has been set yet in the city's case against the state.

A native of Chicago, naturalized citizen of Cincinnati and resident of Columbus, Alison attended Earlham College and the Ohio State University. She has equal passion for Midwest history, hockey and Slavic poetry.