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State pushes to override recently passed regulations in Columbus

State officials are working in different ways to pre-empt recently passed Columbus regulations.

As part of the legislature's flurry of lame duck session laws, an amendment that ban cities from creating their own rules on tobacco was approved as part of a larger tobacco bill. While Governor Mike DeWine suggests he supports a ban on flavored tobacco products, the lawmakers bill would cancel Columbus regulations passed Monday by city council to do that.

In the amendment to HB 513, lawmakers said that regulating nicotine is a issue of statewide concern that requires statewide action. But Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther says the provision is an attack on home rule, and that cities have often had to pave the way for statewide regulations.

In another challenge from a different branch of government, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has won a temporary restraining order on Columbus' recently passed gun regulations. A Fairfield County judge this morning issued his ruling to restrict a trio of regulations approved by city council December 5th.

The state's arguement goes back to a 2006 law that was intended to craft statewide regulations, rather than a patchwork of preventative measures from cities and municipalities. In 2019, Columbus challenged that provision, in a suit that languished until a month ago, when a Franklin County judge placed a temporary stay on the restriction. City council quickly introduced and approved what they dubbed "common sense gun laws".

In a statement this morning, Yost singled out two of the Columbus regulations; a ban on large capacity magazines for anyone other than military or law enforcement personnel, and regulations on safe storage of firearms, particularly when children may have access to weapons. In his statement Yost said Columbus "knowingly and deliberately overstepped its legislative authority".

The Fairfield County judge's ruling prohibits Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein from prosecuting violators pending resolution of the state's appeal.

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.