FDIC Reverses Course on "Operation Choke Point"
In a major development concerning NSSF's leadership to halt discrimination in the provision of financial services and products to firearms related businesses due to "Operation Choke Point", the top officials of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) on Wednesday admitted wrongdoing and said they would cease practices that had the effect of encouraging such disparate treatment.
U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) released a statement after a meeting with Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Martin Gruenberg and Vice Chairman Tom Hoenig discussing the agency's involvement in Operation Choke Point.
Yesterday, the Congressman told NSSF, "After a year of mounting pressure from Congress and outside organization like the National Shooting Sports Foundation, top officials from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation finally acknowledged their involvement and wrongdoing in Operation Choke Point. While I am very pleased the FDIC will put in place new polices and change the culture at the agency, there is still work to be done, specifically with the Department of Justice. I am pleased the National Shooting Sports Foundation supports my legislation, the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act, and I have no doubt the foundation will remain steadfast in educating its members and continuing the fight in ending Operation Choke Point once and for all."
The FDIC's important admission immediately received the attention of the Heritage Foundation's Daily Signal, which filed a comprehensive news story by news producer Kelsey Harkness (read it at: http://dailysignal.com/2015/01/28/exclusive-fdic-changes-tactics-respons...).
Earlier this week, the firearms industry's outspoken opposition to discriminatory financial services practices was the subject of major print and video coverage by the Daily Signal's Harkness, who traveled to the SHOT Show to gauge industry response, including an exclusive interview with NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane. (http://dailysignal.com/2015/01/26/ready-aim-fire-choke-point-draws-heat-...)
NSSF will continue to keep you informed of developments in our ongoing initiative to identify and end willful and unfair discrimination in the provision of financial services and products against businesses involved in the lawful commerce in firearms, related products and services.
How "gun-friendly" is Ohio?
I guess the answer depends on what you are comparing Ohio to. In 2004, Ohio joined the growing ranks of states that enacted laws enabling their citizens to carry concealed firearms. As of 2014, all states now permit some form of concealed carry. Only in the District of Columbia is this right still denied, although this may change soon as a result of a recent court ruling. As of the end of 2013, approximately 570,000 Ohioans had been issued concealed carry licenses. Still, the state does not rank that high in comparison to other states when it comes to being "gun-friendly."
GunsandAmmo.com has done an annual survey comparing the states over the past few years. The factors they consider include whether concealed carry and/or open carry of firearms are permitted, concealed carry reciprocity with other states, if modern sporting rifles are allowed, if citizens can possess Class III/National Firearms Act (NFA) firearms, whether the state has a “Castle Doctrine”/“Stand Your Ground” law, if there are ammunition and/or magazine restrictions, if there are limits on the types of firearms that can be purchased, if there are pro-gun or anti-gun legislation being considered, etc. In 2013, Ohio ranked 35th out of 50 states. In 2014, that ranking dropped to 36th. Some of the reasons cited for the low rankings include limitations on Ohio’s Castle Doctrine, the fact that reciprocity only exists with 33 other states, the state’s 30-round magazine capacity limitation, etc. Indeed, in the latest survey all of the states surrounding Ohio got higher scores — Pennsylvania-31, Michigan-28, Indiana-24, West Virginia-23, and Kentucky-6).
For 2014, there was some progress. For instance, the use of rifles chambered in “straight-walled pistol cartridges” was authorized for use in hunting. This was a significant advance for hunters, especially given the broad definition of "straight-walled pistol cartridges."
On the legislative front, pro-gun legislation was proposed and passed in the State Assembly, but was held up in the State Senate until after the November election so that it wouldn’t become a “political issue” for either political party in Ohio. It did eventually pass and was signed into law by Governor Kasich in mid-December. The new rules become effective 90 days after he signed the bill, on March 23, 2015. Among the changes that were approved are:
- Allows the use of sound suppressors on guns for hunting in Ohio.
- Chief Law Enforcement Officers in each jurisdiction will be required to sign-off (“Shall Issue”) on National Firearms Act (NFA) applications if the applicant is not otherwise prohibited from owning or possessing the item — fully automatic weapons, sound suppressors, short-barrel rifles/shotguns, etc. (Previously Ohio’s law was “May Issue” in this regard.) Federal laws still apply.
- Reduces the amount of training required to obtain an Ohio concealed handgun license (CHL) from 12 hours to 8 hours, including 2 hours of range time. Classroom training can now be accomplished on-line rather than in person. (This change will allow individuals to complete the NRA’s Basic Pistol Course on-line — when that becomes an option — rather than having to take it from an instructor. Live range training must still be obtained from a qualified firearms instructor.)
- Instructors from any national gun advocacy organization may now teach Ohio concealed carry classes.
- Ohio CHLs remain valid until their expiration date for individuals that move out of the state. Previously they expired immediately upon an individual moving to another state.
- Non-residents working in Ohio may now obtain an Ohio CHL from the county or adjacent county to where they work.
- Minor misdemeanors will no longer disqualify individuals from obtaining an Ohio CHL.
- The FBIs NICS system will be used to perform Ohio CHL background checks.
- DD Form 214s remain valid proof of firearms training for military personnel for 10 years now rather than the former 6 years.
- Sheriffs may now use CHL application fees for firearms-related training.
- Ohio residents can now purchase long guns in any state. Previously they could only purchase long guns from states bordering on Ohio.
- The 30-round limitation on magazine capacity has been deleted. Prior Ohio law indicated any firearm with more than 30 rounds in it was considered to be an “automatic weapon”.
- Possession of firearms in municipal parking lots will not be considered a trespass violation. State-owned parking lots already were treated this way. There is no change for privately-owned parking lots.
- Ohioans can carry with a non-resident license in Ohio as long as the state that issued their non-resident license has reciprocity with Ohio.
Also, as a result of these changes to Ohio law, reciprocity with other states should improve - not to mention Ohio’s “gun friendly” score when the next survey results come out.
Despite the best efforts of some communities like Cleveland to enact restrictions on the possession of firearms, Ohio does have a preemption law that states only the State Legislature is authorized to enact firearms laws in Ohio. In addition, the right to “keep and bear arms” is guaranteed in Ohio’s con-
Hunting is quite popular in Ohio, although it does not have the same “holiday” sense as deer hunting season does in states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Utah. Probably the relative lack of state-owned property for hunting is responsible for this.
Ohio has a lot of nationally-recognized firearms instructors and training facilities. The Tactical Defense Institute (TDI) near West Union is one of the top training facilities in the United States. Top instructors like Dave Spaulding, Ken Hackathorn, Chris Cerino and Rob Pincus are based in Ohio and travel across the nation and around the world providing firearms training. Other nationally-known firearms instructors like Tom Givens and Dave Grossman often come to Ohio to offer their knowledge and experience to help Ohioans improve their self-defense skills.
Following the Sandy Hook tragedy, there were calls for increased gun control from across the nation. Ohio did not succumb to this. Instead Ohio increasingly allowed school teachers, administrators, and staff members to receive training and to carry firearms in their schools when their respective school boards approved. The Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response (FASTER) program sponsored by the Buckeye Firearms Foundation and taught at TDI is nationally recognized.
There are numerous public and private shooting ranges scattered around the state. In the Dayton region alone there are at least a half-dozen state-of-the-art indoor shooting ranges.
Competitive shooting — IDPA, USPSA, SASS, CMP, Trap/Skeet, etc. — is also popular in Ohio. Just about any type of competitive shooting event can be found every weekend somewhere in the state. The national firearms championships are held annually at Camp Perry on the shores of Lake Erie and have been for over 100 years. Up until a few years ago the American Trap Association’s national championship — the Grand American — also took place in Ohio (Vandalia) before moving to Sparta, Illinois.
Firearms manufacturing also takes place in Ohio at companies like Ithaca, Hi-Point, Ohio Ordnance Works, etc. Major distributors like MKS Supply, the distributor of
Chiappa Firearms in the US, are located here as well. Accessory manufacturers like MTM Products are also located in Ohio.
Ohio is also the home to the Buckeye Firearms Association, one of the strongest defenders of the Second Amendment and advocate for gun rights in the nation, second only to the National Rifle Association itself.
And let’s not forget about the Ohio Gun Collectors’ Association (OGCA), the world’s oldest and largest organization of gun collectors.
So, is Ohio gun-friendly? Yes, but there is always room from improvement. Everything could change if anti-gun politicians gain control of the state’s government, so citizen vigilance is required.
Gary Evens is an NRA-Certified Instructor and Range Safety Officer.
Interstate Transportation of Firearms and Ammunition Bill Introduced
U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) recently introduced H.R. 131, a bill that would more comprehensively address the interstate transportation of firearms and ammunition for law-abiding gun owners.
Current federal law guarantees the right of law-abiding persons to transport firearms between two locations where they have a legal right to possessand carry them, regardless of state or local laws that would otherwise apply. The firearm must be cased or otherwise not readily accessible. Unfortunately, anti-gun local officials are using overly restrictive state licensing laws to harass and prosecute travelers who have made every effort to comply with the law, resulting in seized guns that are sometimes never returned, delayed travel, legal fees, and sometimes even unnecessary guilty pleas.
H.R. 131 would ensure the law has the effect Congress intended when it passed more than 25 years ago. Specifically, the legislation would make clear that transportation of both firearms and ammunition is federally protected, as well as expand the protections afforded to travelers to include "staying in temporary lodging overnight, stopping for food, fuel, vehicle maintenance, an emergency, medical treatment, and any other activity incidental" to the trip. Additionally, the bill would place the burden of proof clearly on the state to show that the traveler failed to comply with the law.
The NRA fully supports H.R. 131 and appreciates Rep. Griffith’s leadership on this important issue.
Please contact your U.S. Representative and ask him or her to cosponsor and support H.R. 131.
You can contact your U.S. Representative about this important legislation by using our "Write Your Lawmakers" tool, or by phone at (202) 225-3121.
© 2015 National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action. This may be reproduced. This may not be reproduced for commercial purposes.
Observations of an Armed Holiday Traveler
Having recently returned from my holiday travels, I decided to make a few observations from the “Armed Citizen” perspective.
This year, my wife and I decided to take our four children on a family vacation to Pensacola, Florida. It having been over eight years since we'd REALLY taken a proper vacation, the decision was made. Two weeks on the Gulf Coast was in order! Not knowing how long my oldest would still be around, and my next-oldest in the process of getting her driver’s license, who knows when such a family trip could happen again.
So we set off on a Saturday morning with the family loaded up and my boat in tow! Now, needing some additional boating gear to be properly prepared for some bay fishing and the possibility of sneaking out of the inlet on a good day, our first major stop was Cabela's in Bowling Green, Ky. As you would expect, Cabela's was a gun-friendly location, and I was unimpeded as I went about my shopping. Filling up at the local station, no one batted an eye at my 1911 as I pumped. With Kentucky having enjoyed many years of legal open and concealed carry, and having visited our neighbors to the south on many occasions, I expected nothing less.
Not yet in need of fuel, we did not stop in Tennessee on the way down. I had confirmed the legality of open carry in that state for licensees, but had no occasion to exit my vehicle.
Making our next stop at a rest area in Alabama, I was slightly inconvenienced to find a “No Guns” sign on the facility when I got to the door. For a “shall issue” state that allows open carry in “most public areas” I was surprised to see it. I guess with those signs having been removed from Ohio's rest areas several years ago, I had not thought much of it! Where was the public outcry from Alabama's state gun rights organization? Why have Alabama's gun owners let that go on? As both my wife and were armed, it was easy enough to ensure the family's safety, by simply taking turns abiding by the law and disarming one at a time for the stop. I was more inconvenienced by my next stop, however, when the only two fuel stations were both criminal protection zones. Not willing to spend my money with a business owner who chooses to take away my right to defend myself and my family, we moved on. Neither of those establishments will ever know how much money I may have spent there, or why that guy from Ohio hauling a boat pulled through both parking lots, then left without stopping for anything.
So, I found my diesel and drinks/snacks for the family at a place just over the line into Florida. Now Florida presented its own challenges for me! Being accustomed to open carrying virtually everywhere I go in Ohio, I constantly had to make sure I wore a cover garment. Something I rarely think about in my home state, especially while at work (I run a shooting range) or running errands in my own community. I did observe a couple of tourist locations in the Pensacola Beach area that had “NO GUNS” posted. I also observed a location that had an NRA decal on its front door. The only time I openly carried my firearm was at the beach house property and on my boat.
I certainly kept my 2014 Traveler's Guide to the 50 States handy, and felt confident in what I was legally allowed to do wherever I went, being mindful of each state's laws as we crossed those imaginary lines across the road. Thinking about our laws in Ohio, and how they have changed over the last ten years, I am grateful for what we have created here. No, it's not perfect. Yes, it needs to be better. But we've come a long way! Most of all, I am grateful for all the dedicated folks we have here in the Buckeye State who are passionate about the Second Amendment and have sacrificed so much of their time and energy to get us where we are today. One need only travel across some of those imaginary lines to share my appreciation!
Aaron Kirkingburg is a Buckeye Firearms Association Minuteman, a Range Mngr/CRSO at Dillon Sportsman Center, an NRA Certified Instructor, NRA Endowment Member, and Ohio Hunters Ed Instructor.
Extra, Extra! Media Mogul Bloomberg Stages Anti-gun Indoctrination Camp for Suggestible Reporters
Pro-gun websites and message boards have been abuzz [recently] with news that Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun cabal, Everytown for Gun Safety, is partnering with the Columbia Journalism School to offer a two-day workshop for media figures who cover guns and gun issues.
While none of us here have the benefit (if that’s what you’d call it) of a graduate degree from the Columbia School of Journalism, we do our best to bring you the scoop on all the gun news that fit to print. Here’s our rundown of what’s at stake with Bloomberg’s latest gun control effort.
- Michael Bloomberg: Former mayor of New York City and majority owner of a mega-bucks global financial data and media company, Bloomberg L.P. He’s also the 13th wealthiest person on planet Earth. Not content simply to lord over a multibillion dollar business empire or America’s most populous city, Bloomberg has now dedicated himself largely to remaking the United States into the gun-free nanny state of his fevered dreams.
- The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism: A school for newspaper reporters and the like in New York City.
- The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma: Described as “a project of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism,” it claims to promote “informed, innovative and ethical news reporting on violence, conflict and tragedy.” Along with Bloomberg, however, it’s poised to inflict trauma on your constitutional right to arms, which it apparently views, not as a great and fundamental freedom, but a “tragedy.”
- “Reporters, editors, news directors, photographers, producers, and bloggers” who wish to be indoctrinated into the Bloomberg Worldview.
“Covering Gun Violence:” A “two-day workshop for journalists on covering guns and gun violence.” Under other circumstances such an event might seem reasonable enough. In this case, however, the seminar’s announcement betrays its ideological agenda by mentioning in the first paragraph the discredited, inaccurate, and unethical falsehood that “[n]early 100 school shootings have occurred since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary only two years ago.” In a previous version of this bogus claim, Bloomberg’s Everytown group was so desperate to pad the statistics that they even included an act of self-defense that happened to occur on or near an academic campus as a “school shooting.” So egregious were the distortions in that Everytown report that a journalistic fact-check labeled it “mostly false.” This is the sort of “reportage” Bloomberg now hopes to train his own specially-indoctrinated media corps to inflict on the American public.
Phoenix, Arizona. Not coincidentally, Arizona is one of the states where Bloomberg is planning to launch gun control through the ballot initiative process.
Bloomberg has invested what he considers his two most precious resources into a nationwide anti-gun jihad: his money and his ego. Last year, Bloomberg infamously pledged $50 million to enact gun control and defeat the NRA.
So far, he has little to show for it. Despite the attempts of Bloomberg and his like-minded cronies to exploit tragic acts involving guns, Congress has resisted calls to restrict Second Amendment rights. Hundreds of jobs were lost and two state legislatures were booted out of office in an historic recall election after Colorado enacted Bloomberg-backed gun control. Bloomberg’s anti-gun and misleadingly named “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” has seen numerous high-profile defections after being exposed as a gun prohibition front group. Everytown, the operation Bloomberg launched in 2014 to rebrand his gun control apparatus, got off to an embarrassing and ineffective start and has suffered from credibility problems throughout its existence. Bloomberg’s costly effort to influence contested races in the 2014 midterm elections was a resounding failure.
Yet Bloomberg can point to one silver lining: the enactment last year of a radical gun control initiative in Washington State (known as I-594) that presumptively criminalizes the act of loaning or transferring one’s firearm (even if just temporarily) to another person without an intrusive and costly background check. While Evergreen State residents are only now beginning to learn just how absurd and unworkable the law that was sold to them under false pretenses really is, Bloomberg and others are hailing its passage as if it were some kind of mandate.
Gun control advocates are now turning their sites from Congress to the states and plan to roll out similar efforts wherever ballot initiatives are available. These “popular democracy” procedures are especially vulnerable to emotional manipulation and shrewd (if misleading) marketing. The process of passing a bill through the legislature is comparatively deliberative, and usually at least involves hearings and opportunities for public comment and input.
Because money is especially important in pursuing ballot measures like I-594, Bloomberg perceives an advantage on this playing field. Having a compliant and “educated” press corps to mouth his anti-gun talking points is another key factor in achieving success.
Money and paid hacks. The workshop advertises speakers that include “national public health and policy experts; researchers and clinicians; award-winning journalists, and prevention advocates and survivors.” Perhaps the only institutionally anti-gun representatives who will not be in attendance are those from the Hollywood entertainment establishment. Nowhere does the workshop’s announcement suggest participants will actually be able to experience handling and using guns, or that any pro-gun viewpoints will be represented amongst the presenters.
Nor will the workshop likely see any pro-gun attendees. Again displaying Bloomberg’s propensity for using money to get his way, attendees must “apply” by submitting resumes and “letters of interest,” and half could qualify for “travel stipends” of up to $350. A paid trip to sunny Phoenix in early spring, for a free seminar associated with a prestigious New York journalism school, with only hand-picked and vetted participants, could certainly aid enlistment for Bloomberg’s anti-gun media army.
© 2015 National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action. This may be reproduced. This may not be reproduced for commercial purposes.
Buckeye Firearms Foundation's Jim Irvine addresses Lake Local school board on FASTER program
(Photo by Kristen Norman/Sentinel-Tribune)
On Saturday, January 24, Buckeye Firearms Foundation President Jim Irvine and Joe Eaton, Program Director of the Foundation's Faculty / Administrator Safety Training & Emergency Response (FASTER), were given the opportunity to address the Lake Local Board of Education about the matter of school safety.
From the Toledo Blade (which editorialized against the idea of arming staff to protect students the day before the meeting):
Representatives from Buckeye Firearms Association, a statewide advocacy group that promotes Ohioans’ rights to carry firearms, were invited by the school district to deliver an hourlong presentation about their free program to train teachers and other school personnel how to handle guns and defend against possible school shootings.
...Joe Eaton, program director for Buckeye’s safety training program called FASTER, said the three-day training is offered free to schools across Ohio. The group uses private donations to fund the training.
They have budgeted $100,000 to provide training sessions in 2015, Mr. Eaton said.
“Right after Sandy Hook, we started putting as much money and resources as we could into providing this type of training to any school district that has teachers willing to be certified to carry a concealed weapon though the program,” he said, referring to an elementary-school massacre in Newtown, Conn., in 2013.
Eaton informed the group that, so far, more than 300 teachers and administrators, from various districts statewide, have participated in FASTER training. Again, from the article:
Jim Irvine, president of Buckeye’s board of directors, said the training helps school staff know what to do if they are confronted with a lethal situation.
Asked by a board member why such training is necessary with the Lake Township Police Department just a mile away from Lake middle and high schools, Mr Irvine responded: “That’s wonderful, but is a mile away close enough?”
According to the Blade, it was noted in the meeting that while Lake Local has a police officer in the building most of the time, that officer can be called away to off-campus incidents. Irvine told the board about a recent student plot at a different Ohio school district that local police foiled before the plan was carried out.
Police later learned the “kids were planning to kill the resource officer first,” he said.
According to the article, Lake Township Police Chief Mark Hummer has told the board he was willing to work with them no matter what they decide, and suggested that his department be included in any training of school personnel and recommended ongoing training beyond the three-day course Buckeye offers.
The Blade article also made note of opposition expressed by the Ohio Coalition of Gun Violence, who apparently waged an email campaign directed at the Board of Education in advance of the event. Group representatives were in attendance but were not invited to speak.
From WTVG (ABC Toledo):
"The issue is can we do something better, something more, in the event of an horrific situation where somebody get in and try's to shoot and kill our kids," said Tim Krugh, Lake School Board President. "At a minimum require someone to go through concealed carry training and then enroll in the buckeye fire arms faster program which is a 3.5 day intensive training program."
Additional information was provided by Bowling Green's Sentinel-Tribune:
"It is not OK for people to sit around and wait to be murdered in a school. It is OK to fight back and it is OK to start saving lives and to keep yourself alive," said Joe Eaton of the Buckeye Firearms Association.
"The one thing for certain we've seen is that these teachers will die for our kids. They've shown that time and time again. What we want to do is if a teacher is wiling to stand between somebody murdering kids and to die for those kids is give them any tool that they want to keep themselves and these kids alive."
The educational content of the training program was discussed only generally Saturday, as it's important to keep certain aspects confidential, said Jim Irvine, president of Buckeye Firearms Association.
The names of those permitted to carry weapons on school property would likely also remain secret with the exception of the board, certain administrators and police. Irvine said he doesn't even keep a full record of those who have participated in the training in fear that the names could be made public and make those people "targets" in the event of a school shooting.
According to the Sentinel-Tribune, at least one other school district had someone present who was interested in learning about the subject as well.
Sue Larimer, a Perrysburg school board member, told the newspaper she wasn't directly representing the board but wanted to take information back for discussion.
"I would rather be the person in the theater who is able to protect others than to be the sitting duck," Larimer is quoted as saying.
While many such meetings have occurred in school districts around the state, this one is receiving news coverage because Lake Local Board of Education president Tim Krugh chose to announce the forum.
Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, BFA PAC Vice Chairman, and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.
Field reports from ODNR Division of Wildlife Officers highlight need to obey hunting regulations
Central Ohio – Wildlife District One
While on patrol at Quarry Park, State Wildlife Officer Chad Grote, assigned to Marion County, observed three men taking turns fishing with one fishing pole. One would fish for about five minutes and then hand the pole to one of the other men. Officer Grote watched each of the men fish at least twice before he went and checked them for fishing licenses. None of them had a fishing license, and all three were issued a summons for fishing without a license. One man had a warrant for his arrest and he was turned over to the Marysville Police Department. All three men were found guilty and paid $188 each in fines and court cost.
State Wildlife Officers Patrick Muldovan, assigned to Licking County, and Tony Zerkle, assigned to Fairfield County, received a report that a red fox had been stuck in a trap for three days. Upon arriving to the area, Officers Muldovan and Zerkle located the trapped fox and verified that it had been there for multiple days. They released the live fox from the foothold trap and retrieved the trapper’s information. Upon interviewing the trapper, it was discovered that he removed all of his traps except for one because he thought it was frozen. The trapper received a summons for not checking his traps every calendar day. He pleaded guilty in the Licking County Municipal Court and paid $150 in costs and fines.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District Two
State Wildlife Officer Ryan Kennedy, assigned to Hardin County, was patrolling Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area during the archery season when something unusual caught his eye. He observed a truck parked on the area with a European-style deer skull wired to the hood. Officer Kennedy inspected it and could not locate a tag or check-in number attached to the antlers. Officer Kennedy contacted the owner of the vehicle. Further investigation revealed the man found the deer dead and cut the head off without contacting law enforcement agencies to obtain a receipt for the antlers. Officer Kennedy issued him a citation for possession of untagged deer parts. The man was fined $100 plus court costs.
During the deer-gun season, State Wildlife Officers Troy Reimund and Kevin Newsome were patrolling an area of Henry County where Officer Reimund had received numerous complaints of road hunting. The officers noticed a herd of deer running through a field, and a vehicle driving down the road in reverse trying to catch up to them. The vehicle turned around and drove quickly down the road in an attempt to catch up to the deer. The vehicle reached the deer just as they crossed the road. The officers witnessed the driver of the vehicle shoot at the deer several times while he was still driving. The officers stopped the vehicle and discovered that the driver was alone, and he had a shotgun next to him on the seat. The officers issued the driver summonses for hunting with the aid of a motor vehicle and shooting at a wild animal from the roadway. Officer Reimund later issued the suspect another summons for a felony charge of shooting from a motor vehicle. The suspect appeared in the Napoleon Municipal Court and was sentenced to serve 10 days in jail, had his hunting license suspended for five years, was ordered to pay fines and court costs totaling nearly $800, and forfeited the firearm used in the offense.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District Three
During the deer-gun season, State Wildlife Officer Eric Moore, assigned to Medina County, received information that two hunters wearing only camouflage clothing were dropped off along the roadway and walked toward a woodlot. The informant met Officer Moore at the property and showed him the tracks in the snow. The tracks continued through the woodlot toward a residence on the adjacent property. Officer Moore walked to the house, knocked on the door, and was invited in. Three men were standing inside the home. Two of the men were dressed in heavy hunting clothes and wearing boots which appeared to be wet. Officer Moore asked the men if they had been hunting, and they replied that they were hunting earlier in the day but had just finished clearing snow from the driveway. The results of the investigation revealed that they were hunting deer without permission from the landowner and had failed to wear hunter orange clothing. In addition, one of the men was hunting without a deer permit. Both of the men were charged, appeared in court, convicted, and paid nearly $1,000 in fines and court costs.
While working migratory waterfowl enforcement in Trumbull County at Shenango Wildlife Area, State Wildlife Officer Tom Frank, assigned to Mahoning County, contacted a hunter in the field and inspected his license and firearm. Unfortunately, the man had failed to acquire an Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp as required by law. He was issued a summons, convicted in court, and ordered to pay more than $400 in fines and costs.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District Four
While on patrol in Pike County, State Wildlife Officer Matt VanCleve was driving on state Route 32 when he saw a vehicle pulled along the shoulder. As Officer VanCleve passed the vehicle he noticed a man leaning against the rear door. Officer VanCleve found a safe place to turn around and went back to the vehicle to conduct a well-being check. As Officer VanCleve spoke to the man, a female exited the vehicle. After speaking to both occupants, Officer VanCleve discovered the man was intoxicated. A short time later a state trooper showed up to assist. It was discovered that the man, who had originally provided a false identity, had two active warrants from Florida and Georgia. He was taken into custody.
State wildlife officers conducted several law enforcement projects in Vinton County during the fall of 2014. The projects were targeted to arrest individuals who were spotlighting and/or shooting wildlife from motor vehicles. During the projects, wildlife officers stopped five vehicles for wildlife-related offenses. Four individuals were issued summonses for spotlighting. Eight individuals where issued 14 other wildlife related summonses.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District Five
State Wildlife Officers Jim Carnes, assigned to Highland County, and Trent Weaver, assigned to Montgomery County, were on separate patrols in Highland County when Officer Carnes encountered a vehicle and pedestrian accident involving an Amish child. While emergency staff was administering medical treatment to the child, two other children recognized Officer Carnes’ patrol truck and approached him. The children asked Officer Carnes if he could help them find their horse and buggy so they could return home and let the child’s mother know about the accident. While Officer Carnes assisted the children in finding the horse and buggy, Officer Weaver was given the address information of the injured child’s mother. He was requested to contact the mother to inform her of the situation. Once the family’s horse and buggy was secured, Officer Carnes transported the two children home. Along the way, he was informed that the injured child was going to be flown from the scene to the hospital with her father. Knowing that the child’s mother did not have transportation of her own, Officer Carnes made arrangements for Officer Weaver to give her a ride to the hospital, where she was reunited with her child and the father. The child was treated and released into the care of her family.