Ohioans For Concealed Carry has been contacted by multiple sources who are concerned about the actions of a northeast Ohio attorney at the Stonewall Ltd. range in Cleveland.
According to recent visitors to Stonewall, attorney Stephen Miller is distributing a "bulletin" (see image) warning Concealed Handgun License (CHL)-holders that "the law, as codified in the Ohio Revised Code, does not reflect the Act, known as HB12, that the Governor signed into law. If you carry, especially in a motor vehicle, in accordance with the law as printed in the pamphlet provided by the Attorney General, you will in all probability be comitting a felony in the fourth degree."
Miller's "bulletin" goes on to advertise a "seminar updating you on the problems you face", at a cost of $75 per person.
One Stonewall visitor and graduate of Miller's CCW course told OFCC Miller presented the "bulletin" to him after recognizing him as a former student. When Miller was pressed for details about the bulletin's contents, our source says Miller specifically referred to the existence of a provision making carrying in a motor vehicle in the presence of a minor illegal!
What Miller is probably referring to in his references to ORC is the fact that, for a short time prior to the actionable date of HB12 (April 8), LexisNexis Anderson's Publishing (the official code reporter for the State of Ohio) loaded the wrong version of the bill onto its website.
Frequent readers of this website will recall that on April 7, OFCC exclusively reported on this error.
The version that Anderson's falsely published as Ohio Revised Code in early 2004 was actually the Senate-passed version of House Bill 12, which contained the infamous Carjacker Protection provision. Had it become law, that provision would have mandated that CHL-holders could not carry a firearm for self-defense in their personal vehicle with a person under 18 as a passenger. After intense lobbying and grassroots efforts by OFCC supporters, the Carjacker Protection provision (along with certain other Taft/ Senate poison pill amendments), was removed by a House/ Senate Conference Committee, and is NOT law.
Immediately upon discovering the problem at Anderson's website, Ohioans For Concealed Carry began communications with LexisNexis Anderson's, the Ohio Attorney General's office and the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy (whose instructors may have begun teaching students the Senate's version) about this error, to learn how it occurred, to ensure that it was corrected quickly, and to spread the word to instructors and students about the truth. Just three days after our initial report, on April 10, OFCC exclusively reported that the Anderson's website had been corrected.
Contrary to Miller's claims nearly six months later, there is NO problem facing licenseholders caused by the short-term improper publication of this bill by LexisNexis Anderson's. Although they are the official code reporter for the State of Ohio, Anderson's has no legal ability to alter the law. The version that Gov. Taft signed is the correct version, and does provide for legal car carry, regardless of the age of occupants in the car.
After reviewing the Miller "bulletin" being distributed at Stonewall, an expert familiar with the law told OFCC "people are being lead to believe that there is a problem when there is none, and will be spending money to receive incorrect information."
This "bulletin" is just the lastest in a history of controversial statements and actions by this attorney, who is employed by, and frequently who appears in the media representing, Stonewall Ltd.
Consider these quotes attributed to Miller on recent occasions by the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Ohio CCW not worth the hastle?:
Miller told a room full of CHL-trainees at Stonewall Ltd. that the strongest message they could receive in the class was to "think hard before applying for a permit because it could bring more hassles than the privilege would be worth."
Ask to be handcuffed at a traffic stop?:
"If the police officer does not want you to exit the car, tell him to handcuff you to the steering wheel and let him remove the gun himself," Miller said.
Ohio CHL-holders put cops at disadvantage?:
By allowing people to carry more than one gun, the state's lawmakers have put police officers, who usually carry only one weapon, at a firepower disadvantage, Miller says. "The quickest way to reload is not reloading. It's grabbing another gun."
Ohio CCW should be scrapped?:
"Miller, who carries a license and a gun, says the law 'is replete with stupidity from beginning to end,' and probably should be scrapped until lawmakers can craft something better."
It's not just his words that are controversial. On July 1, Miller filed a risky lawsuit challenging the Constitutionality of Ohio's CHL law.
Is it any wonder that the number of applicants in Cuyahoga County is low? Between Miller & Stonewall, Sheriff McFaul and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the appearance is given that an entirely different law was passed than the one the rest of state is now enjoying.
OFCC has just secured a comprehensive summary of Ohio firearm laws, and will soon make "The Ohio Guide to Firearm Laws" available in the website. Do your homework before you spend hard-earned money for incorrect, uninformed advice.
dayum.......he's the type of people who give those type of people a bad name (lawyers)
Bump for the morning guys.
If he is charging for a seminar at which incorrect legal advice is being (knowingly?) presented, perhaps the Ohio state bar would be interested.
WOW! If that ain't just the most f'ed up thing I've read today!