BFA Provides Testimony in Support of SB 58 to Prohibit Firearm Ownership Fees or Liability Insurance

On Wednesday, March 15, 2023, Buckeye Firearms Association presented testimony in the Senate Veterans and Public Safety Committee supporting SB 58 to prohibit requiring firearm liability insurance or being required to pay a fee for the possession of a firearm, part of a firearm, its components, its ammunition, or a knife.

This was the second hearing for this legislation, sponsored by Senator Terry Johnson (R-McDermott) and Senator Theresa Gavarone (R-Huron).

Here is BFA's testimony:

To: Senate Veterans and Public Safety Committee
From: Rob Sexton, Legislative Affairs Director, Buckeye Firearms Association
Date: March 15, 2023
Re: Support for SB 58

Mr. Chairman, members of the Senate Veterans and Public Safety Committee, I am writing on behalf of Buckeye Firearms Association in favor of Senate Bill 58. Opponents of our Second Amendment rights are an inventive lot, continually seeking ways to get around constitutional protections to prohibit or restrict firearms possession and ownership as has been the case with the current illegal actions taken by the city of Columbus to restrict Constitutionally protected firearms rights.

But while some opponents of firearms rights seek to outright ban differing types of firearms and equipment, others take a more insidious approach by usurping our rights through government intervention such as attempts to levy taxes on individual rounds of ammunition.

A more recent example of this type of work has been efforts to pass laws in California, Connecticut, and New York to require anyone who possesses a firearm to purchase special liability insurance. They don’t seek to ban firearms outright, but rather raise the cost for owning one, thereby denying self defense rights to those with less financial means, and make gun ownership subject to insurance underwriting decisions.

This type of requirement would seem to be blatantly unconstitutional both federally and here in Ohio. But as we have seen recently, activist courts often warp constitutional protections. Understanding the nature of activist courts and these backdoor attempts to steal Second Amendment rights allows the Ohio General Assembly to get ahead of these efforts and bar the door against them. Senate Bill 58 takes a proactive approach to this attack and simply spells out that gun owners in Ohio cannot be required to purchase liability insurance as a condition of possessing or purchasing a firearm. Senate Bill 58 builds a defense of firearms rights before they are infringed. Seeing the bad examples in other states and even here in Ohio where our big cities openly defy the law to infringe on the rights of people to protect themselves should compel legislators to prevent this type of attack from ever happening here. That is exactly what this bill does.

BFA greatly appreciates Senators Johnson and Gavarone for authoring this important legislation, and we encourage this committee to approve it at your earliest convenience.

Thank you for your time.

SB 58 must move through both the Senate and the House in order to reach the Governor's desk for his signature. We urge committee members to move this bill quickly.

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Buckeye Firearms Association is a grassroots organization dedicated to defending and advancing the right of citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities, including self-defense, hunting, competition, and recreation. Read more.