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PEOPLE'S RIGHTS ORGANIZATION ENDORSES HB225 CONCEALED CARRY LEGISLATION IN OHIO

NEWS

For Immediate Release
May 16, 2001

PEOPLE'S RIGHTS ORGANIZATION ENDORSES HB225 CONCEALED CARRY LEGISLATION IN OHIO

- GRASSROOTS CIVIL RIGHTS GROUP SAYS OHIOANS' RIGHT TO SELF DEFENSE BEST ENSURED BY PROPOSED LAW; 22 CO-SPONSORS OF BI-PARTISAN BILL DEMONSTRATE LEGITIMACY OF SAFETY ISSUE

- GROUP BLASTS OPPONENTS FOR INTELLECTUAL DISHONESTY TO THE PUBLIC


Columbus, Ohio, May 16, 2001 - People's Rights Organization, Ohio's most active grassroots group in the fields of education, legislation and litigation, today announced it has thrown its full support behind Ohio House Bill 225. HB225 is sensible legislation that affords Ohioans the ability to carry concealed firearms for self defense without breaking the law, and without overly intrusive regulations that would hamper a woman's ability to use a gun to defend herself or her family if is she is being stalked or threatened.

"Currently, good law abiding women and men are treated like criminals, and must prove their innocence if they carry a gun for their self-protection," says retired police Sgt. Jim Ramm, People's Rights Organization legislative liaison and past chairman of the group. "In recent years, several judges have thrown out concealed carry prosecutions and told lawmakers that current law on the subject conflicts with the Ohio Constitution. Ohioans abhor violence, are sick of being victimized and have the right to protect themselves and their families when they leave their homes, but have to break the law to do it. HB225 fixes what has long been broken."

The thousands of people in Ohio and across the U.S. who belong to the People's Right's Organization know the truth about concealed carry laws: they are highly effective in helping sharply reduce the rate of rapes, murders and muggings.

People's Rights Organization and numerous other grassroots groups in Ohio question why Governor Bob Taft fears the people who elected him to office if they are permitted to carry concealed firearms. They also question why is he effectively putting a legislative and executive decision in the hands of law enforcement unions, political organizations and political appointees who were never elected to represent the people of Ohio. 

"Self-defense is a basic human right. None of the states surrounding Ohio deny their citizens the right to self defense away from their home using a firearm," says Dennis Walker, People's Rights Organization secretary. "So why does Governor Taft believe law-abiding Ohioans are less civilized than law-abiding residents of Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana? 

"Why are a police benefits bargaining union (Fraternal Order of Police), a group of political appointees (Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police) and the Ohio Highway Patrol (under the control of the governor) holding hostage the very safety of the decent, hard-working citizens they are sworn to protect? Their obstruction and objections to HB225 make it easier for criminals to prey on good, law-abiding women and men."

OPPONENTS TWIST FACTS TO GAIN CREDIBILITY

The People's Rights Organization, an all-volunteer grassroots group, also takes exception to the half-truths being reprinted ad nauseum by Ohio's newspapers, repeatedly quoting officials of the Ohio Chiefs of Police, FOP and paid lobbyists for groups like the Million Mom March and Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, all of whom claim violence will increase if concealed carry legislation passes, and that police won't know who might be carrying a gun when they conduct a traffic stop.

Ramm, a current FOP member, notes the following: "First, the police already treat each and every traffic stop as if the person(s) in the automobile is armed. It's part of their basic training. Secondly, while predictions of increases in violence make compelling sound bytes for the media, there is no basis in truth whatsoever for those statements - and police officials and union representatives who make these claims know they are being less than honest with these statements.

"Additionally, some police organizations have stated that officers go through some 80 hours or so of firearms related training, so citizens wanting to carry concealed firearms must be required to take extensive training classes to prove their proficiency with a gun. That half-truth also looks good in print, but the facts don't support the argument." 

The majority of police firearms training deals with tactical entry situations, hostage situations, domestic squabble intervention, third-party 'shoot/don't shoot' situations, traffic-stop encounters and routine patrol/field interrogations. 
"Unless private citizens are going to be asked to do tactical entries or intervene in hostage situations -- which they won't -- this argument is full of holes and only makes police look bad when they repeat it over and over," Ramm says.
Moreover, he adds, law enforcement training most often is mandated as a result of a city or police department being sued by someone over the performance of an officer. 

"Since citizens don't work for cities or police departments (it's actually the other way around) they cannot be required to be trained in the same manner. Citizens are responsible for their own actions and have been obtaining their own training for years through Personal Protection courses offered by People's Right's Organization and those of other training providers around the state. People don't do this because it's mandated by the state, but because they are responsible citizens."

ABOUT PEOPLE'S RIGHTS ORGANIZATION

The People's Rights Organization, a not-for-profit corporation, is Ohio's foremost advocate of gun safety, personal protection training and crime avoidance instruction, and is regarded as Ohio's most aggressive civil rights organization regarding 2nd Amendment issues. The People's Rights Organization is well known to lawmakers within the Ohio General Assembly, the Ohio attorney general's office, as well as to the City of Columbus. In the 1990s, the group filed and won two landmark federal court cases that repealed vague and unconstitutional firearms possession laws that had been hastily passed by Columbus' City Council. In addition, the organization has assisted in other successful lawsuits, and has supported and helped draft numerous pieces of legislation promoting gun safety, child safety programs, and education reform. 

Since its founding in 1989, People's Rights Organization has spent significant resources to promote safety strategies for women and men, and to underwrite gun accident avoidance education for school-age children. The organization has provided child gun safety teaching materials to police departments throughout Ohio which has reached tens of thousands of school children, helping ensure they know what to do (Stop! Don't Touch! Leave The Area! Tell An Adult!) if they find a gun. 

The People's Rights Organization also sponsors numerous safe gun handling, personal protection training and personal safety strategy seminars throughout Central Ohio development through seminars and classes. In addition, with more than 25 members who have gone through the rigorous training required to become NRA Certified Instructors, People's Rights Organization is Ohio's largest firearms safety teaching team. Because of the organization's community service orientation, People's Rights Organization instructors volunteer their time teaching Home Firearm Safety, Personal Protection, basic marksmanship in rifle, pistol, shotgun and black powder firearms. Regularly scheduled public classes are available, as well as private sessions for community groups, church organizations, and clubs. 

###

For more information, please contact: 

People's Rights Organization
Pete Stryjewski, Chairman, E-mail:
pstryjew@att.net, 614/268-0122
Dennis Walker, Secretary, E-mail: d-walker@juno.com, 614/348-5566

Sgt. Jim Ramm (retired), Legislative and Law Enforcement Liaison
E-mail: jim@gunsoft.com, 614/855-2854

BACKGROUNDER - People's Rights Organization

The People's Rights Organization is Ohio's most active grassroots group in the fields of education, legislation and litigation. The foremost advocate of gun safety, personal protection training and crime avoidance instruction in the Buckeye State, the all volunteer organization also is regarded as Ohio's most aggressive civil rights group regarding 2nd Amendment issues. The People's Rights Organization is well known to lawmakers within the Ohio General Assembly, the Ohio attorney general's office, as well as to the City of Columbus. 

In the 1990s, the Columbus-based not-for-profit organization filed and won two landmark federal court cases that repealed vague and unconstitutional firearms possession laws that had been hastily passed by Columbus City Council at the behest of then Mayor Dana "Buck" Rinehart and Council President John Kennedy. In addition, the organization has assisted in several successful lawsuits, and has supported and helped draft numerous pieces of legislation promoting gun safety, child safety programs, and education reform. 

Since its founding in 1989, People's Rights Organization has spent significant resources to promote safety strategies for women and men, and to underwrite and promote gun safety/accident avoidance education for school-age children. The organization has provided law-enforcement endorsed gun safety teaching materials to Ohio police departments that has reached tens of thousands of school children, helping ensure kids know what to do (Stop! Don't Touch! Leave The Area! Tell An Adult!) if they find a gun. The People's Rights Organization also sponsors numerous gun safety, personal protection training and personal safety strategy seminars throughout Central Ohio development through seminars and classes. 

More than 25 People's Rights Organization members are NRA Certified Instructors. Because of the organization's orientation toward community service, People's Rights Organization instructors volunteer their time teaching Home Firearm Safety, Personal Protection, and basic marksmanship in rifle, pistol, shotgun and black powder firearms. Regularly scheduled public classes are available, as well as private sessions for community groups, church organizations, and clubs. 

The People's Rights Organization has been recognized by the Ohio Senate and Ohio House of Representatives for its steadfast support of the Ohio Constitution, the U.S. Constitution, the 2nd Amendment, and its ongoing educational activities throughout the state. 

People's Rights Organization History/Timeline:

1989 - The People's Rights Organization is founded after Columbus City Council passes a vaguely-written law, sponsored by then Council President John Kennedy, banning so-called "assault style weapons" and high-capacity magazines. 

1989 - Group files first lawsuit against the City of Columbus (the action becomes the first suit in the nation to be filed against a major city to overturn vague "assault style weapons" statutes). The People's Rights Organization suit says the law is unconstitutional, too broad and overly vague. At request of NRA and other Ohio groups, lawsuit is dropped in favor of legal action filed in Cleveland by NRA. 

1990 - The People's Rights Organization re-files lawsuit against City of Columbus. Cleveland suit fails and People's Rights Organization legal tactics are vindicated.

1991 - First People's Rights Organization members become NRA Certified Instructors.

1992 - Group begins teaching regularly scheduled gun safety and personal protection classes.

1992-93 - The People's Rights Organization promotes gun safety at a public event by presenting the law-enforcement endorsed Eddie Eagle child gun accident prevention programs at Ohio Fox TV Kids Expo in Columbus. The exhibit is ranked among the most popular booths at the kids fair.

1993 - Several members gain NRA Training Counselor credentials needed to train new NRA Certified Instructors to teach.

1994 - Federal court awards judgment to People's Rights Organization against City of Columbus, calling the "assault style weapon" law and high-capacity magazine ban unconstitutional. Columbus changes wording of overturned law, and quickly passes new statute as emergency legislation. People's Rights Organization files new lawsuit. Court finds against the City of Columbus a second time. Columbus appeals, and federal appeals court finds against the City of Columbus, calling the hastily written law unconstitutional for its vagueness in wording. City of Columbus is ordered to pay People's Rights Organization more than $140,000 to reimburse the not-for-profit group's legal fees in the two actions. City of Columbus attempts no further infringement against lawful gun owners.

1995 - Promotes gun safety for kids by presenting the law-enforcement endorsed Eddie Eagle child gun accident prevention program at Red Cross KidSafe Day at Ohio Expo Center. Most popular booth at Red Cross event.

1998 - Dennis Walker, People's Rights Organization officer and long-time member, named national "Grassroots Activist of the Year" by the Citizens Committee For The Right To Keep and Bear Arms.

1999 - The People's Rights Organization mounts legal challenge against the State of Ohio over the illegal collection of fees to conduct Brady background checks of new firearm purchasers.

2000 - Begins offering monthly free Refuse To Be A Victim seminars, which provide common sense ideas for self protection without the use of a firearm, to the Central Ohio community. Establishes a 10-person volunteer teaching team to present this nationally acclaimed safety strategies curriculum.

1996-2000 - Organization's monthly member newsletter - PROponent - rated among the top five grassroots publications in the U.S.

1990-2001 - Numerous People's Rights Organization members have given countless presentations to local and national groups about gun safety, gun control problems, the 2nd Amendment, and questionable laws that purport to promote safety but are aimed at registration and confiscation of lawfully owned firearms. Members have been invited to participate in committee work for Gun Rights Policy Conference and NRA. Members also have debated officials from the FOP, Chiefs of Police, Million Mom March organizers, Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, and extremist gun control groups on radio, television and in public forums. People's Rights Organization representatives are regularly invited as guests on radio call-in programs and community debates, and are well known to members of the Ohio General Assembly. The organization has worked tirelessly for more than a decade to help elect legislators who believe in true gun safety initiatives, and who support the concept that self-defense is a basic human right.

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