CLEVELAND (WJW)– The FOX 8 I-Team learned some people arrested for guns are suddenly seeing their charges dropped. So, we investigated why.
We found this is tied to a new Ohio law that will make it easier to carry a concealed weapon.
Starting in June, if you have a clean record, you won’t need a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
But, the I-Team started asking questions after we uncovered two concealed weapons cases just dismissed in Cuyahoga County. They were dismissed in advance of the new law even though they’d been filed a while ago.
“We will be dismissing the charge so as not to punish someone today for an act that will be legal in about eight weeks from now,” the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement. “We do not know how many cases this will affect as each one needs to be individually reviewed to see if the defendant meets those conditions.”
In the meantime, we also checked with other counties. We found no early breaks in Trumbull County.
“We will enforce the law up until June 13, which is the day this new law goes into effect,” said Chris Becker, assistant Trumbull County prosecutor. “And, we have an obligation, we believe, to the public and to the law itself. And, the spirit of the law is, if a crime exists, up until the day it no longer exists, we will prosecute the crime.”
We tracked down one man who’d had charges dropped in a case of carrying a concealed weapon.
“For sure, a huge weight off my shoulders,” Christopher Hamilton said. “Been a lot of violence here, and killings, you know. I just want to be able to protect myself and my family. I was very happy about the situation.”
We also reached out to prosecutors in three other counties, but we did not hear back.