LEBANON, Ohio — A state judge has rejected the city of Lebanon, Ohio’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit challenging a 2020 city ordinance that ended the longstanding prohibition on carrying hidden, loaded handguns in the city’s municipal building, including during city council meetings.
Everytown Law, the litigation arm for Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, is representing the three Lebanon residents challenging the ordinance. The suit, filed in March in the Warren County Court of Common Pleas, alleges the ordinance conflicts with state laws prohibiting concealed carry in government buildings that contain courtrooms. Lebanon’s city council meets in the courtroom of the city’s municipal building.
The Lebanon-based law firm Gray & Duning is local counsel in the suit.
“The residents we represent ask only that the city comply with state laws intended to keep courthouses and similar government buildings safe,” Len Kamdang, director of litigation strategy and trials for Everytown Law, said in a March statement announcing the suit’s filing. “People should be able to take part in the democratic process without the threat of violence or intimidation.”
In March 2020, Lebanon’s city council enacted an ordinance that authorizes the concealed carry of handguns within Lebanon’s city building, except during the operation of the Lebanon Municipal Court. As the complaint alleges, however, Ohio law prohibits concealed carry at all times within courthouses and buildings containing courtrooms. The plaintiff residents, who attend or have attended city council proceedings held in the municipal courtroom, are asking the court for a declaration that the ordinance conflicts with state law and an injunction restraining its enforcement.