Posted by Dave Dykema - email
WOOD COUNTY, OH (WTOL) - A Livonia Michigan man is behind bars at the Wood County Jail Wednesday night for bringing a gun into the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo in Perrysburg Township.
The incident started Tuesday afternoon after Ylli Gocaj, 26, ran out of gas on Interstate 75. Gocaj left his broken down car and walked off the interstate and to the Center. He went inside and asked to use the phone.
But the principal of the school within the Center says someone spotted the outline of a gun on his waistband while students were in their classrooms.
They told Gocaj to leave and he complied, but police responded and arrested him.
He was charged with illegally carrying a firearm in a school safety zone.
Todd Bruning owns Todd's Guns in Lambertville. He says, "A responsible gun owner needs to know the laws, wherever he is carrying."
He also says the man was licensed to carry his gun in Michigan, and under Ohio's reciprocity law was allowed to bring it into the state.
But he still has to comply with Ohio's Pistol Free Zones, which include places like mosques or churches or schools.
Bruning says Gocaj should have left the gun in the car. "You get used to carrying day after day after day, he may not have even known. He may have had other things on his mind. It may have been a misunderstanding but ... being a gun owner, it's on him. He made the mistake."
Other Pistol Free Zones in Ohio are airport passenger terminals, courthouses, child daycare centers, and post offices.
Bruning says Pistol Free Zones are taught in classes when people apply for a conceal carry license. They're also listed on the back of the license itself.
The Islamic Center principal says Gocaj didn't threaten anyone, but if convicted of the firearms charge, he could face up to five years in jail and a hefty fine.
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