Gun rights remain top of mind among Ohio lawmakers, with at least 28 gun-related bills introduced in the statehouse since the most recent legislative session kicked off in January 2021.
Just about all bills have been presented along party lines, with 15 authored by Democrats and 13 brought by Republicans. As the December end-of-session approaches, all but one of the Re- publican bills have advanced in the legislative process (the outlier was just recently introduced). Conversely, only one Democratic bill, requiring safe storage of firearms, has advanced to the hearing stage.
At least one Republican bill has been signed into law so far: effective June 13, Senate Bill 215 has positioned Ohio to become the latest state to allow permitless carry, or the carrying of a concealed weapon without a permit.
Currently, Ohio requires a permit to carry a concealed firearm, which can be obtained after eight hours of training. The new legislation, signed March 14 by Gov. Mike DeWine, allows people 21 and over to carry a concealed firearm without a permit if they are already legally allowed to own the gun.
The law prohibits officers from detaining, searching or seizing anyone who is otherwise law-abiding and in possession of a firearm. Additionally, gun owners will not be required to “promptly” notify law enforcement of a weapon in their vehicle during a traffic stop.
Read on to learn about other pending legislation and how some Ohioans may be affected.
House Bill 62 (R)
HB 62 designates the State of Ohio as a Second Amendment Sanctuary State, exempting Ohio from federal gun laws, and names this act the Ohio Second Amendment Safe Haven Act. As of publication, the bill was referred to committee and has received three hearings thus far.
House Bill 89 (R)
HB 89 modifies the requirement that a concealed handgun licensee must notify a law enforcement offi- cer that the licensee is authorized to carry a concealed handgun and is carrying a concealed handgun when stopped, allowing active duty military members to not notify officers as quickly.
HB 89 passed out of committee in March 2022, though it is now essentially void with the passage of permitless-carry legislation.
House Bill 99 (R)
HB 99 exempts persons authorized to go armed within a school safety zone from a peace officer basic training requirement, imposes training and other requirements on those persons and requires a board of education or school governing body that authorizes persons to go armed in a school provide public no- tice of that authorization.
As of publication, HB 99 passed the House in November 2022 and the Senate June 1, 2022.
Senate Bill 185 / House Bill 325 (R)
SB 185 and HB 325 revised code regarding a political subdivision’s emergency powers when suppress- ing a riot, mob or potential riot or mob and the preservation of rights regarding deadly weapons and firearms during an emergency.
As of publication, SB 185 passed the Senate and is in the House. HB 325 passed the House and is in the Senate.
Senate Bill 215 / House Bill 227 / House Bill 505 (R)
SB 215, HB 227 and HB 505 established permitless-carry legislation in Ohio and repealed the requirement for concealed handgun licenses, effective June 13, 2022.
Senate Bill 293 (R)
Introduced in January 2022, SB 293 prohibits requiring fees and liability insurance for the possession of firearms. As of publication, SB 293 has received two hearings thus far.
House Bill 297 (R)
HB 297 establishes the Firearms Industry Nondiscrimination Act, which bars a government entity from entering into a contract with an entity that “discriminates against firearm entities.” As of publication, , the bill has received two hearings thus far in committee.
House Bill 383 (R)
HB 383 modifies penalties for certain weapons offense, imposing harsher consequences for people caught with firearms who are felons, determined “mentally ill” or “drug dependent.” As of publication, HB 383 has received two hearings thus far in committee.
House Bill 455 (R)
HB 455 allows an opportunity for a concealed handgun licensee or qualified military member to avoid charges for carrying a deadly weapon into a prohibited place if the person leaves upon request and pe- nalizes those who fail to leave upon request or return with a firearm. As of publication, HB 455 has re- ceived three hearings in committee.
House Bill 617 (R, D)
Introduced in April 2022 and recently sent to committee, HB 617 requires federally licensed firearms dealers to give each firearm purchaser a specified brochure that provides information on using deadly force and outlines the laws about dispute resolution.
House Bill 38 (D)
HB 38 repeals the “Stand Your Ground” law, which was enacted in April 2021 and abolished a person’s obligation to retreat before discharging a gun in public.
HB 38, which would retain the “castle doctrine” that does not require a person to retreat in their home or vehicle, has yet to have a hearing since its February 2021 introduction.
Senate Bill 73 / House Bill 259 (D)
Both SB 73 and HB 259 require universal background checks for firearm transfers, with some excep- tions. As of publication, neither bill has yet to have a hearing beyond their introduction.
Senate Bill 74 (D)
SB 74 raises the minimum age to purchase a firearm to 21, and increases penalties for furnishing a firearm to an underage person. As of publication, SB 74 has yet to have a hearing since its February 2021 introduction.
Senate Bill 75 (D)
SB 75 regulates the transfer of firearms at a gun show, outlining definitions, safety measures and pro- cedures for such transfers. As of publication, SB 75 has yet to have a hearing since its February 2021 introduction.
Senate Bill 76 / House Bill 274 (D)
SB 76 and HB 274 restore local authority to regulate firearms-related conduct, allowing local govern- ments to construct their own regulations regarding firearms within their jurisdiction. As of publication, neither bill has had a hearing since their February/April 2021 introductions.
Senate Bill 77 (D)
SB 77 bans trigger cranks, bump-fire devices and other items that accelerate a semi-automatic firearm’s rate of fire but do not convert it into an automatic firearm. As of publication, SB 77 has yet to have a hearing since its February 2021 introduction.
Senate Bill 138 / House Bill 257 (D, with one supporting R)
Both SB 138 and HB 257 enact the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act to allow family members, household members and law enforcement officers to obtain a court order that temporarily restricts a person’s access to firearms if that person poses a danger to themselves or others.
As of publication, neither bill has had a hearing since their February/April 2021 introductions.
Senate Bill 205 / House Bill 360 (D)
Both SB 205 and HB 360 designate June as Gun Violence Awareness Month. As of publication, neither bill has had a hearing since their June 2021 introduction.
Senate Bill 243 (D)
SB 243 prohibits biased policing and other status-based profiling, requiring peace officers who carry firearms to undergo bias training. As of publication, SB 243 has yet to have a hearing after its October 2021 introduction.
House Bill 262 (D)
HB 262 enacts the Child Access Prevention Tax Credit Act to prohibit negligent storage of a firearm, to provide criminal penalties if a minor gains access to an improperly stored firearm and to authorize an income tax credit for the purchase of firearms safety storage units.
As of publication, HB 262 is the sole Democratic bill that has received a single hearing during this leg- islative session.
House Bill 630 (D)
Introduced in April 2022 and sent to committee, HB 630 repeals the changes made by SB 215 to the laws regarding a concealed handgun licensee’s duty to carry the license and notify a law enforcement officer if the licensee is carrying a concealed handgun and the rights of a qualifying adult to carry a concealed handgun in the same manner as if the person was a licensee; it essentially repeals recent permitless-carry legislation.
House Bill 661 (D)
Introduced in May 2022 and recently sent to committee, HB 661 requires gun trigger locks to be at- tached and provided with firearms sales.
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