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Woman caught driving with a gun under her purse has appeal rejected

Special to the Legal News

Published: August 5, 2015

The 9th District Court of Appeals ruled recently that a woman’s right to bear arms was not limited because of her conviction on concealed weapons charges.

The defendant, Christina Glover, appealed from the judgment of the Summit County Court of Common Pleas where she pleaded no contest to carrying a concealed weapon in violation of R.C. 2923.12(A)(2).

Glover was charged after an officer found a loaded and operable handgun under her purse during a traffic stop.

She opted to plead no contest after the trial court overruled her motion to dismiss the indictment.

Glover was eventually sentenced to a suspended 10-month prison sentence with the condition that she complete one year of community control.

On direct appeal to the 9th District court, Glover argued that the trial court committed reversible error because the charge against her was unconstitutional under the United States Constitution’s Second Amendment and the Ohio Constitution’s Article I Section 4.

“We do not agree,” Judge Carla Moore wrote on behalf of the court of appeals. “The Second Amendment does not guarantee an ‘unlimited’ right to keep and bear arms ‘whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.’”

Moore noted that, historically, courts have considered prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons lawful under the Second Amendment and analogous state amendments.

Additionally, the appellate panel held that R.C. 2923.12(A)(2), the statute under which Glover was convicted, does not prohibit the possession of firearms but merely regulates the manner in which they may be possessed.

“For this reason, we consider Glover’s challenge to the statute under an intermediate level of constitutional scrutiny,” Moore wrote. “To survive this level of scrutiny, R.C. 2923.12(A)(2) must be narrowly tailored to serve a significant government interest, and further, it must leave open alternative means of exercising the right.”

The court of appeals noted that the statute is tailored to serve the significant government interest of guarding public safety and that it leaves “ample” alternative means of exercising the right to keep and bear arms apart from concealment, for example, by obtaining a concealed handgun license.

“As such, the statute does not unconstitutionally infringe upon the guarantees of the Second Amendment,” Moore wrote. “Ms. Glover’s assignment of error is overruled.”

Presiding Judge Jennifer Hensal concurred in judgment only, writing in a separate opinion that Glover’s argument relied entirely on her incorrect presumption that R.C. 2923.12(A)(2) prohibits the possession of a gun.

However, Hensal pointed out that the statute actually clearly states that “the carrying of a concealed handgun” is prohibited.

According to the statute’s plain language and considering the “long history permitting restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons,” Hensal wrote that Glover’s conviction did not violate any state or federal constitutional amendment.

Judge Beth Whitmore joined Moore and Hensal to make the decision unanimous.

The case is cited State v. Glover, 2015-Ohio-2751.

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