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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/31/2010 5:02:14 PM EDT
Candidate faces criminal trial

CANTON - Before asking for thousands of votes in the November election, a candidate for Stark County commissioner wants the vote of a jury of eight of his peers.

Stephen Todd, a motorcycle-riding pastor who considers himself a political independent, is fighting a criminal charge of improperly handling a firearm in a motor vehicle. It’s a fourth- degree misdemeanor that carries a maximum jail term of 30 days.

The 53-year-old Todd, in a three-way race for a commissioners’ seat, has pleaded not guilty in Canton Municipal Court. He has a mid-October court hearing, with jury trial scheduled for Oct. 22.

“We feel we’re completely justified in doing what we did on that day,” Todd explained.

PULLED OVER

It began when an Ohio Highway Patrol trooper stopped Todd along Route 30, near Harrison Avenue, accusing him of failing to stop at a stop sign. It was shortly after 11:30 a.m. July 3.

Besides the traffic ticket, the trooper added the firearm charge. A candidate for an unexpired seat, Todd doesn’t deny he was carrying a loaded .38-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver at the time.

“Ohio is an open-carry state,” he said.

The gun, he said, was in plain view.

The trooper didn’t see it that way. Todd is charged under a section of state law that says it’s illegal to transport a loaded firearm “in” a motor vehicle. Todd’s attorney, Anthony Koukoutas, said his client wasn’t “in” a motor vehicle — he was “on” a motorcycle.

“I believe there’s a misinterpretation of the open-carry law,” Koukoutas said.

Katie Erchick, the assistant Canton city prosecutor handling the case, said she’s aware of Koukoutas’ stance. She said she’s looking into that claim, but said the trial date is in effect.

The case, and another against him earlier this year, are examples of too much government intervention, Todd said.

INTRUSIVE GOVERNMENT

“There is too much government, period,” said Todd, who is pastor of Wellspring Assembly Church, a church intentionally not registered as a nonprofit, so as not to follow government regulations on its messages.

In March, Todd was charged with criminal damaging, related to logging done on his 120-acre Wildcat Ranch in Bethlehem Township. He initially was cited by a Stark County Park District ranger because a tree company used the Towpath Trail to access trees on Todd’s land.

Prosecutors dismissed the charge when Todd and the Park District settled the case in mediation.

Todd is a nonparty candidate for the commissioner seat once occupied by Tom Harmon. The term expires at the end of 2012. His opponents are Republican James Walters and Democrat Thomas Bernabei.

http://www.cantonrep.com/newsnow/x278749279/Candidate-faces-criminal-trial
Link Posted: 9/1/2010 4:04:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/1/2010 4:06:18 AM EDT by ScottyPotty]
Its a crappy law and I dont agree with it, but he is guilty of breaking it. Someone who open carry s with out their CHL should know better. Anyone who carry s a gun should know the laws.

Link Posted: 9/1/2010 4:05:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/1/2010 4:06:43 AM EDT by ScottyPotty]
DT
Link Posted: 9/1/2010 7:28:36 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/1/2010 7:28:48 AM EDT by BigFellor]
Originally Posted By ScottyPotty:
Its a crappy law and I dont agree with it, but he is guilty of breaking it. Someone who open carry s with out their CHL should know better. Anyone who carry s a gun should know the laws.



Agree, sounds to me like he went out looking for a fight to prove a point. Well, he found it.
Link Posted: 9/1/2010 9:00:09 AM EDT
Stark County resident. I know who I'm voting for
Link Posted: 9/1/2010 10:02:41 PM EDT
when you ride a motorcycle, your aren't "in" a motor vehicle. you are "on" a motor cycle.. the law is poorly worded and ambiguous as to the intent. it should be clarified!
Link Posted: 9/2/2010 7:12:12 AM EDT
Originally Posted By FFMedic:
Stark County resident. I know who I'm voting for


Can we get this guy in the Governor's race?
Link Posted: 9/2/2010 12:13:03 PM EDT
Originally Posted By WileyCoyote:
when you ride a motorcycle, your aren't "in" a motor vehicle. you are "on" a motor cycle.. the law is poorly worded and ambiguous as to the intent. it should be clarified!


Well shortly we'll have some case law that will do just that.
It'll be interesting to see how this plays out. I'm guessing that the motor vehicle carry restrictions will trump open carry.
Link Posted: 9/2/2010 12:23:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Dragracer_Rob:

It'll be interesting to see how this plays out. I'm guessing that the motor vehicle carry restrictions will trump open carry.

(Unfortunately) I agree.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 9:06:44 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/3/2010 9:08:57 AM EDT by Mogwa]
Seems clear to me..........
By your logic, my wife can drive while I sit on the hood of my car with a loaded gun? I don't think so brother.
Open Carry is awesome. Follow the rules. Store your firearm properly in/on the MV and load up and holster when you get where you are going. If you want to drive and carry....get a ccw. Let's make sure we are reading the law before we make an opinion on it. Don't want anyone here to follow in the foot steps of Obama.

2923.16 Improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle.
(A) No person shall knowingly discharge a firearm while in or on a motor vehicle.

(B) No person shall knowingly transport or have a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle in such a manner that the firearm is accessible to the operator or any passenger without leaving the vehicle.
(C) No person shall knowingly transport or have a firearm in a motor vehicle, unless the person may lawfully possess that firearm under applicable law of this state or the United States, the firearm is unloaded, and the firearm is carried in one of the following ways:
(1) In a closed package, box, or case;

(2) In a compartment that can be reached only by leaving the vehicle;

(3) In plain sight and secured in a rack or holder made for the purpose;

(4) If the firearm is at least twenty-four inches in overall length as measured from the muzzle to the part of the stock furthest from the muzzle and if the barrel is at least eighteen inches in length, either in plain sight with the action open or the weapon stripped, or, if the firearm is of a type on which the action will not stay open or which cannot easily be stripped, in plain sight.

(D) No person shall knowingly transport or have a loaded handgun in a motor vehicle if, at the time of that transportation or possession, any of the following applies:

(1) The person is under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or a combination of them.

(2) The person’s whole blood, blood serum or plasma, breath, or urine contains a concentration of alcohol, a listed controlled substance, or a listed metabolite of a controlled substance prohibited for persons operating a vehicle, as specified in division (A) of section 4511.19 of the Revised Code, regardless of whether the person at the time of the transportation or possession as described in this division is the operator of or a passenger in the motor vehicle.


“Motor vehicle” means any vehicle, including mobile homes and recreational vehicles, that is propelled or drawn by power other than muscular power or power collected from overhead electric trolley wires.

Originally Posted By WileyCoyote:
when you ride a motorcycle, your aren't "in" a motor vehicle. you are "on" a motor cycle.. the law is poorly worded and ambiguous as to the intent. it should be clarified!


Link Posted: 9/3/2010 3:28:17 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Mogwa:
Seems clear to me..........
By your logic, my wife can drive while I sit on the hood of my car with a loaded gun? I don't think so brother.
Open Carry is awesome. Follow the rules. Store your firearm properly in/on the MV and load up and holster when you get where you are going. If you want to drive and carry....get a ccw. Let's make sure we are reading the law before we make an opinion on it. Don't want anyone here to follow in the foot steps of Obama.

2923.16 Improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle.
(A) No person shall knowingly discharge a firearm while in or on a motor vehicle.

(B) No person shall knowingly transport or have a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle in such a manner that the firearm is accessible to the operator or any passenger without leaving the vehicle.
(C) No person shall knowingly transport or have a firearm in a motor vehicle, unless the person may lawfully possess that firearm under applicable law of this state or the United States, the firearm is unloaded, and the firearm is carried in one of the following ways:
(1) In a closed package, box, or case;

(2) In a compartment that can be reached only by leaving the vehicle;

(3) In plain sight and secured in a rack or holder made for the purpose;

(4) If the firearm is at least twenty-four inches in overall length as measured from the muzzle to the part of the stock furthest from the muzzle and if the barrel is at least eighteen inches in length, either in plain sight with the action open or the weapon stripped, or, if the firearm is of a type on which the action will not stay open or which cannot easily be stripped, in plain sight.

(D) No person shall knowingly transport or have a loaded handgun in a motor vehicle if, at the time of that transportation or possession, any of the following applies:

(1) The person is under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or a combination of them.

(2) The person’s whole blood, blood serum or plasma, breath, or urine contains a concentration of alcohol, a listed controlled substance, or a listed metabolite of a controlled substance prohibited for persons operating a vehicle, as specified in division (A) of section 4511.19 of the Revised Code, regardless of whether the person at the time of the transportation or possession as described in this division is the operator of or a passenger in the motor vehicle.


“Motor vehicle” means any vehicle, including mobile homes and recreational vehicles, that is propelled or drawn by power other than muscular power or power collected from overhead electric trolley wires.

Originally Posted By WileyCoyote:
when you ride a motorcycle, your aren't "in" a motor vehicle. you are "on" a motor cycle.. the law is poorly worded and ambiguous as to the intent. it should be clarified!




i didn't bother to check the code (lazy ) - if that's what it says, then yes it is clarified moreso than my speculation. thanks for setting it straight!
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 3:51:49 PM EDT
He did break the law, which is BS, Openly exposed on a motorcycle is open carry in real common sense land, not in the litigious Bizaro revised code land though. I think he'll get a slap on the wrist.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 8:53:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/3/2010 8:54:56 PM EDT by RareBear]
“Motor vehicle” means any vehicle, including mobile homes and recreational vehicles, that is propelled or drawn by power other than muscular power or power collected from overhead electric trolley wires.


The bicycle lobby, the Amish lobby, and the trolley lobby worked together to put this loophole in the law..................just kidding.


Link Posted: 9/4/2010 5:04:04 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2010 5:04:28 AM EDT by MHarvey124]
Great post Mogwa. Sounds to me the guy broke the law.

Still kinda stupid that this guy is going to have a record now for something that did not even hurt anyone or could have hurt anyone.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 8:48:41 PM EDT
This is completely ridiculous> The concept of open carry is that the firearm is in plain view and if is holstered on ones side, it shouldnt be an issue. If the man was riding "in" a jeep wrangler with the doors off there would be an issue. Just goes to show how anal and trivial the Ohio Troopers are. Nothing more that cash registers for the state.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 3:40:56 AM EDT
He broke the law, plain and simple. If he wanted to carry on his bike, he should have gotten a CCH. Period.

I ride a motorcycle, and it is a vehicle. The law does not differentiate between two wheel, three wheel, and four wheel vehicles. Does it need to be registered and have plates? It's a vehicle. Done.

For those who are trying to differentiate between "on" and "in", where do you draw the line? Am I "in" a sidecar as opposed to "on" a motorcycle?

I'm not defending the credibility of the law, just pointing out that it is pretty damn clear. Now, if he had been on a bicycle, there would be a valid argument that he was legally open carrying...on a motorcycle - no brainer.
Link Posted: 9/14/2010 9:10:26 AM EDT
the ohio revised code is so stupid.

section B is totally pointless since C goes into more detail. according to section B, I should be allowed to keep a loaded gun in the trunk of my car, but because of C i have to keep it unloaded.

what this whole thing is going to come down to is the "in" and "on" thing. as far as I am conderned that is pretty specific and the operator of a motorcycle or ATV isn't "in" anything. if they wanted to make it all inclusive they should have worded it "as the operator or passenger of a motor vehicle"

Link Posted: 9/15/2010 1:59:25 PM EDT
It's situations like these where I wish I pulled jury duty. Jury nullification anyone?
Link Posted: 9/15/2010 6:29:24 PM EDT
I thought of somthing else that is stupid about this law. the whole inclusion of motorhomes and RVs. according to this law, you cant keep a loaded gun (sans handgun if you have a CHL) in your camper if you are out camping in the woods. we really need to get this law changed.
Link Posted: 9/16/2010 4:27:30 AM EDT
ignorance of the law is not a defense. If the guy was ignorant of the law he deserves everything he gets. He is running for public office for pete's sake. If on the other hand he was trying to push boundaries, well he also gets what he deserves. He will have his time in court to argue his point. Hopefully he has some financial backing to be able to get to the appellate level and give the law a run for its money.
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