[UPDATE] Bill to fix drafting error on Shockwave fix passed by Senate 24-8

A bill to fix a drafting error made by the Legislative Services Commission (LSC) on HB 228 was passed out of the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee this morning on a 7-3 party-line vote. The bill was then passed later this afternoon by the Senate 24-8.

After passage of the bill, bill co-sponsor Sen. Jay Hottinger (R) posted the following on his Facebook page by way of explanation:

“Attn firearms owners: (Please feel free to share)
Late last year there was an inadvertent error in HB 228 that was the result of an LSC drafting error when a staff member unintentionally moved 1 paragraph from one section to another. (paragraph was moved from Sec. 2923.11 L to Sec. 2923.11 K) And the error was not caught by anyone.

This unintentional drafting error led some to believe that certain firearms would be deemed unlawful at the end of March. While that interpretation was not shared by the Legislative Service Commission, our legal counsel, several other legal experts or the Attorney General - the Senate today passed SB 53 (i co-sponsored) which moved the paragraph back to its original intended home in the Ohio Revised Code to ensure that there are not any over zealous county prosecutors who may interpret the language differently.

The “fix” now heads to the Ohio House of Representatives.”

Before the committee vote, Senator Cecil Thomas (D) voiced his displeasure about problems that can be caused when bills are not properly vetted in lame duck sessions, before proposing an amendment that itself had not been properly vetted. Thomas' amendment, which sought to deny military-aged (18-20) adults their Second Amendment rights, was tabled.

Another proposed amendment, which sought to remove the bill's emergency clause, was proposed in committee by Senator Teresa Fedor (D) and also tabled.

Buckeye Firearms Association Directors Sean Maloney and Linda Walker attended the hearing. Maloney offered testimony on behalf of BFA (see below).

BFA representatives began working with legislators immediately upon discovery of the LSC's drafting error last December, an error which went undetected by anyone in the flurry of legislative activity during the lame duck session.

Download the Senate bill here.

Companion legislation (HB 86) was passed by the House Federalism Committee last week.

Download the House bill here.

Buckeye Firearms Association will continue to monitor progress and provide updates when the House takes up consideration of the bill.

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is co-founder of BFA-PAC, and served as its Vice Chairman for 15 years. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.


Sean Maloney's Testimony on behalf of Buckeye Firearms Association:

Re: Written Testimony as a Proponent for S.B. No. 53

Dear Committee Members,

Sean Maloney, for and on behalf of Buckeye Firearms Association, presents this testimony in favor of passing S.B. No. 53 (the “Bill”).

The Bill corrects a drafting error that occurred in passing the final version of Sub. H.B. 228 during the 132nd General Assembly.

As passed, Sub. H.B. 228 contained amended language modifying R.C. 2923.11(K) that erroneously classified certain firearms as dangerous ordinance. Prior versions of H.B. 228 did not amend R.C. 2923.11(K). As far as we are aware, in all other versions of H.B. 228, the amended language appeared in R.C. 2923.11(L), which contains exceptions to dangerous ordinance. The true objective of amending R.C. 2923.11 was to mirror federal law and provide a more useful and uniform definition of a “sawed-off firearm.” By placing the amended language in division (K) which defines dangerous ordinance, the language as passed had the exact opposite effect of what was intended.

While other subdivisions of R.C. 2923.11(L) contain certain exceptions to the definition of dangerous ordnance, this Bill is necessary to eliminate any ambiguity that may exist in Ohio law. This is an instance of a known and identified error that occurred while the Legislative Service Commission was drafting the final version of Sub. H.B. 228. To protect the law-abiding citizens of the State of Ohio from any unintended consequences, this Bill should rightfully pass with bipartisan support.

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