no guns in Ohio

Democrat introduces bill banning nearly ALL semi-auto firearms in Ohio

State Rep. Willis Blackshear Jr. (D-Dayton) recently introduced a bill that poses as a ban on high-capacity magazines or maybe a ban on carrying certain firearms. However, the bill language would actually ban nearly ALL semi-automatic firearms in the state of Ohio, including rifles and handguns.

According to a press release from Rep. Blackshear's office, House Bill 433 seeks to:

... ban mass casualty firearms. The bill would make a targeted change to reimplement Ohio’s pre-2015 prohibition on firearms capable of shooting more than 31 rounds without reloading.

So is it a ban on high-capacity magazines? The description at the top of page one of the bill reads:

To amend sections 2923.11, 2923.12, and 2923.17 of the Revised Code to prohibit carrying mass casualty weapons.

So is it a ban on carrying certain firearms?

Here's what the text of the bill actually says;

"Mass casualty weapon" means any semi-automatic firearm designed or specially adapted to fire more than thirty-one cartridges without reloading, other than a firearm chambering only .22 caliber short, long, or long-rifle cartridges.


No person shall knowingly acquire, have, carry, or use any mass casualty weapon or dangerous ordnance.

Given that every semi-automatic firearm can fire a round each time you pull the trigger, that the number of rounds which can be fired without reloading depends solely on the capacity of the magazine being used, and that it's easy to find or manufacture high-capacity magazines for nearly any semi-automatic, this bill literally bans ALL semi-automatic firearms with the exception of those chambered for .22 caliber.

That would include rifles and handguns. Shotguns, bolt or lever-action rifles, revolvers, black powder guns, and other non semi-auto firearms would remain legal, but all of the most popular modern guns used by police and civilians for self-defense would be illegal.

For anyone violating this ban, the bill imposes a felony in the fifth degree, which requires between six and 12 months of imprisonment and up to a $2,500 fine. It is unclear whether this punishment is per weapon. If per weapon, I could get a life sentence.

It is also not specified what Ohioans are supposed to do with all their semi-auto firearms, whether there would be a grace period to turn them in, a grandfather option for guns already possessed, or what.

If Rep. Blackshear intended to ban magazines capable of holding more than 31 rounds, it would have been easy enough to write the bill language clearly to accomplish that. But that's not what the bill says.

The bill defines a "mass casualty weapon" as a firearm that can fire more than 31 rounds, which includes all semi-automatics manufactured anywhere in the world, and then says that no person may buy one, have one, carry one, or use one unless it's a .22 caliber.

So it makes one wonder whether Rep. Blackshear and the 18 other Representatives who co-sponsor this bill are incompetent at writing legislation or outright devious in trying to pass off a ban on semi-automatic firearms as something else.

It is unlikely that this bill will get more than a single hearing, but it is disturbing to think that lawmakers could be so careless or dishonest. I fully understand that Ohio Democrats would prefer gun control to gun rights, and they have a right to their opinion.

However, introducing a bill that bans all of the most popular and constitutionally protected firearms across an entire state, something that could not possibly stand up in any court, not even in die-hard blue states like California or Hawaii, is beyond understanding.

Dean Rieck is Executive Director of Buckeye Firearms Association, a former competitive shooter, NRA Patron Member, former #1 NRA Recruiter, and host of the Keep and Bear Radio podcast.

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