Gun bills trickle in as Ohio legislature's 135th assembly gets rolling

A handful of House and Senate bills are beginning to work their way through the state's legislative process, as the Ohio Legislature's 135th General Assembly gets underway.

The first three, as currently written, would reduce firearms regulations and expand Second Amendment rights.

One in particular is called the Second Amendment Preservation Act.

Introduced by Reps. Mike Loychik, R-Bazetta, and Jean Schmidt, R-Loveland, House Bill 51 would add further protections to the right to bear arms, remove federal firearms law references from the state firearms control law, and declare an emergency. The legislation takes several steps to protect the Second Amendment, according to a Feb. 16 news release from Loychik's office.

“As a conservative representative for the people of Trumbull and Ashtabula Counties, I strongly support protecting the Second Amendment right to bear arms here in Ohio,” Loychik said in the release. “This bill further protects the right of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and their loved ones.”

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The bill, Loychik said, would remove federal firearms law references from the state firearms control law.

“I have worked closely in conjunction with the Speaker to move this bill forward to ensure we are protecting the Second Amendment for Ohioans,” he said.

HB 51 is in House committee.

Civil immunity for self-defense for nonprofits

Sen. Tim Schaffer, R-Lancaster, has introduced Senate Bill 32, which would grant civil immunity to a person who acts in self-defense or to protect the members or guests of a nonprofit corporation under certain circumstances.

SB 32 is in Senate committee.

Prohibition against requiring firearms liability insurance

Senate Bill 58, introduced by Sens. Terry Johnson, R-McDermott, and Theresa Gavarone, R-Bowling Green, would prohibit requiring fees or liability insurance for the possession of firearms, or fees for the possession of knives.

SB 58 also is in Senate committee.

Veiled attempt to roll back stand-your-ground law, reimpose duty to retreat

State Rep. Latyna M. Humphrey, D-Franklin County, appears intent on turning law-abiding citizens who defend themselves into criminals.

Under the veil of applying limits to locations at which citizens would have no duty to retreat, House Bill 62 would roll back stand-your-ground legislation and limit no duty to retreat to a person's home and vehicle only. It also would allow courts to consider the possibility of retreat as a factor in cases of self-defense.

Humphrey's bill, which thus far has not advanced, would increase firearms regulations and is yet another attack on Second Amendment rights.

Ohio has 2-year legislative sessions. The current session began Jan. 1, 2023, and will end at midnight Dec. 31, 2024. Bills introduced during a session must be passed before the end of the session.

The Buckeye Firearms Association is monitoring legislation and will keep you posted on any status changes. Check for updates.

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