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Ohio's Totalitarian "Hidden Box" Law is Unacceptable

A proposed state law would make you a felon simply for having a hidden compartment in your car. If you have one, you may face 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine if this bill becomes law.

With the federal government employing heavily armed SWAT teams to raid Amish farms that dare sell raw milk to willing consumers, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services confiscating mommy-packed lunches from little girls because of alleged violations of federal nutritional standards, the state of Ohio evidently wants to boost its own share of control over the lives of its citizens.

A proposed state law, Senate Bill 305, would make you a felon simply for having a "hidden compartment" in your automobile. It doesn't matter why you want a hidden compartment, nor what you use it for. If you have one, you may face 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine if this bill becomes law.

The government, of course, always has a reason for imposing its tentacles into every conceivable part of our lives. In this case it's to "protect us" against the illegal drugs that are apparently being smuggled by the megaton over our highways in secret boxes.

Perhaps if this bill gets passed, we can next look forward to the government forbidding us from having secret compartments in our homes. Or, considering the bodily compartment where some drug dealers have been known to hide their products from the authorities, maybe the state of Ohio will mandate proctological inspections as we leave our homes every morning.

I trust that Gov. John Kasich and the bill's co-sponsor, Sen. Tom Patton, have the best intentions in supporting this ridiculous bill. Unfortunately it is one more example of an out of control bureaucracy micro-managing every minutiae of people's lives and slowly siphoning their God-given freedoms.

As a republican, I understand that the party's philosophy is based on limited government. This bill is clearly a violation of that philosophy.

If you agree that enough is enough, I encourage you to let Sen. Patton and Gov. Kasich know it by letter, phone or e-mail.
The bill can be viewed here.
Sen. Tom Patton can be emailed here.
Gov. John Kasich can be emailed here.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

bob lang April 09, 2012 at 08:02 PM
I think that this is a story that needs to be covered but I don't appreciate the author embellishing the story. No where in the original article does it mention the facility that was raided for the milk as being an "Amish farm" As for the story about the girls lunch, it was local school officials who confiscated her food, not officials of the government. You lose credibility by trying to sensationalize your story. It was also mentioned in the end of the article about the milk raid that it was not likely a SWAT team that did the raid. Stick to the facts.
Ken McEntee April 09, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Bob. You are wrong. Although the article I linked to may not have cited an Amish farm, at least one Amish farm also has raided in the same manner for selling raw milk. In the lunch case, the story says "that meal didn’t meet with approval from the government agent who was on site inspecting kids’ lunches that day." Those are the facts.
Ken McEntee April 09, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Here you go Bob. I am not sensationalizing: "http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/05/21/MNVN1JH966.DTL"
Wilburforce April 09, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Kasich must go....what next?
Ken McEntee April 09, 2012 at 09:00 PM
I am a registered republican and I agree with Kasich more often than not. But I don't agree with him on this bill. And I will not support any politician who wants to control, rather than serve, his or her constituents.
Jack Kelly April 09, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Is anyone surprised by another bill of this sorts by the "less government" Republicans. Meanwhile, Kasich, along with the rest of the whore-to-the-lobbyists Republicans, signed a bill into law last week which now gives Ohio one of the WEAKEST consumer protection laws in the country. That's been pretty much swept under the rug. Not surprising, the wingnuts on the right are silent. If this was a Democrat doing this, they'd be spewing blood.
bob lang April 10, 2012 at 02:37 AM
The story is still incorrect. You cite only one Amish farm nor farms and do not identify your source in the article. Also, there were no SWAT teams used. The government agent on the site of the school lunch issue said the child's meal didn't met his approval but he did NOT confiscate the meal, the school officials did. Still looks like sensationalizing to me. Stick with the facts!.
Brian Wollet April 11, 2012 at 03:51 AM
Ken, thank you for your excellent articulation on the cause of liberty.
Daniel Rosen April 11, 2012 at 06:56 PM
This article is misleading. Reading the article "It doesn't matter why you want a hidden compartment, nor what you use it for. If you have one, you may face 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine if this bill becomes law." But reading the bill you see this "No person shall knowingly operate, possess, or use a vehicle with a hidden compartment with knowledge or reasonable cause to believe that the vehicle has been or will be used to facilitate a crime." Truly hidden compartments are only located when a drug sniffing canine hits on a vehicle and the subsequent search reveals the hidden compartment. If someone wants a hidden compartment to transport money or valuables for a business purpose then since no crime is being facilitated there is no violation of this bill. If this compartment is discovered by the police without any drugs ever being used in that compartment it is a poorly constructed secret compartment anyway. Intent is a factor in this bill despite the author's claim.
tom m April 11, 2012 at 11:03 PM
approved by Congress last year and signed by President Obama in January
Ken McEntee April 27, 2012 at 02:18 PM
In 2008, the Illinois Supreme Court struck down a state law almost identical to SB 305. The court annulled the law because citizens could be convicted regardless of how a "hidden compartment" was actually used. (People v. Carpenter, 888 N.E.2d 105, Sup. Ct., Ill., 2008).
Ken McEntee May 24, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Sen. Rand Paul has had enough of the aforementioned armed raids of raw milk farms and other federal government thuggery: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kT8waPM9yYw
tom m May 24, 2012 at 04:57 PM
lets not forget the Democrats Defend “Propaganda” Bill Rep Smith stands behind the amendment allowing domestic information campaigns to allow propaganda on american soil
Simon July 31, 2012 at 09:02 AM
When does the law cross the line from trying to protect us to invading our privacy and restricting our rights? This new law is quite ridiculous indeed!

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