What SB184 means to you: Part V – School Safety Zones

By Jim Irvine

SB184 is 75 pages. It will go into effect on September 09, 2008. This is part of a series of articles looking at specific sections of the bill and how it will affect you. Keep in mind that I am not an attorney and this does not constitute legal advice. Concealed carry license holders are required to read the Attorney General guide. I highly recommend “The Ohio Guide to Firearms Laws” by Ken Hanson, Esq. (NOW AVAILABLE: Update for SB184).

We documented the problem with School Safety zones in our “white paper” which stated:

Ohio’s statute is completely out of step with the Federal statute. In Ohio, there is no way to have an unloaded firearm in a locked case in a school zone. Additionally, Ohio has an absurdly drafted “exception” for concealed carry license holders set forth at R.C. § 2923.122(D)(3), just like the Federal statute, even explicitly incorporating the Federal exception into the Ohio exception.

Unfortunately, the Ohio “exception” can never apply, trapping gun owners every day.

While SB184 stopped far short of “fixing” the problems with school zones, it did address the issue and it is now possible to pick up and drop off children at school.

Sec 2923.122 prohibits firearms in a school safety zone. Section (3) was not changed, and the exception which can never apply remains.

A new exception was added which states:

Sec 2923.122
(4) This section does not apply to a person who conveys or attempts to convey a handgun into, or possesses a handgun in, a school safety zone if at the time of that conveyance, attempted conveyance, or possession of the handgun all of the following apply:

(a) The person is carrying a valid license or temporary emergency license to carry a concealed handgun issued to the person under section 2923.125 or 2923.1213 of the Revised Code or a license to carry a concealed handgun that was issued by another state with which the attorney general has entered into a reciprocity agreement under section 109.69 of the Revised Code.

(b) The person is the driver or passenger in a motor vehicle and is in the school safety zone while immediately in the process of picking up or dropping off a child.

(c) The person is not in violation of section 2923.16 of the Revised Code.

There are several caveats that gun owners must be familiar with. Re-read paragraph (b) closely and be aware of how limiting it is.

(b) The person is the driver or passenger in a motor vehicle and is in the school safety zone while immediately in the process of picking up or dropping off a child.

“… in a motor vehicle…” If little Suzy falls and scrapes her knee, you are not permitted to get out and help her. This exemption does not apply to walking your child to school.

“…picking up or dropping off a child.” (emphasis added) This exemption does not apply to picking up or dropping off an adult. Picking up or dropping off your spouse for work or a parent-teacher conference is not covered.

As with many sections of our law, a failure to fully understand and comply may result in felony charges. Ignorance is no excuse.

While this section falls well short of what we wanted, it does give us a way to legally pick-up or drop-off our children at school with a firearm in the car.

Hanson's "The Ohio Guide to Firearms Laws” updated to reflect SB184 changes

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