Ohio knife preemption

Ohio House and Senate Introduce Knife Preemption Bills: HB 243 and SB 156

On April 12, 2021, Senate Bill 140 went into effect. It made two significant changes to Ohio law: it repealed the ban on the manufacture and sale of "switchblade," "spring blade" and "gravity" knives and it cleared up the confusion about carrying knives by defining a knife, razor or cutting instrument as a "deadly weapon" or "weapon" ONLY if it is used as a weapon.

This is a welcome change, given that many gun owners carry both firearms and knives for self defense. And many citizens carry ordinary pocket knives for utility purposes and have been unknowingly violating law.

However, many cities regulate knives at the local level making the state law moot. So a matching set of bills, House Bill 243, introduced on March 31 by Representative Al Cutrona, and Senate Bill 156, introduced on April 13 by Senator Kristina Roegner, seek to establish statewide "preemption." This would forbid all political subdivisions, including cities, from regulating the transportation, possession, carrying, sale, transfer, purchase, gift, devise, licensing, registration, or use of a knife or knife-making components.

"Changing Ohio's outdated and confusing knife laws is long overdue," said Dean Rieck, Executive Director of Buckeye Firearms Association (BFA). "Even the ACLU supported the passage of SB 140 that makes it legal to carry a concealed knife in Ohio.

"Now establishing preemption so that we have one clear and consistent set of knife laws statewide is the logical next step."

We want to thank our good friends at Knife Rights who have been lobbying for these changes alongside BFA for many years.

Dean Rieck is Executive Director of Buckeye Firearms Association, a former competitive shooter, NRA Patron Member, #1 NRA Recruiter for 2013, business owner and partner with Second Call Defense.

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