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Does HB228 outlaw some firearms beginning March 28th? (Correction: Not the 4th or the 24th)

eye95

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IANAL, and Ohio uses some really convoluted language in its ORC (I miss the simplicity of the Alabama code), but I don’t see how this bill limits weapons possession as reported in this article. Can anyone with better legal reading skills than me enlighten us about HB228 in light of this article?

 

OC for ME

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The link to the bill that is not provided by the authors of the article.


I failed to find the harms to our 2A that are described in the article. I second eye95's request for a bigger brain to provide further data in the legislation that supports the article's claims.
 

JustaShooter

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(FYI, the effective date of HB 228 is March 28th, not March 4th or 24th as stated in the OP.)

The issue that is concerning is the wording in HB 228 that was originally to be included as 2923.11 (L)(7) as an exclusion from the definition of "dangerous ordnance", that was, in the last edit of the final draft, mistakenly moved to 2923.11 (K)(7), the actual definition of "dangerous ordnance":
(K) "Dangerous ordnance" means any of the following, except as provided in division (L) of
this section:
...
(7) Any firearm with an overall length of at least twenty- six inches that is approved for sale
by the federal bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and explosives under the "Gun Control Act of
1968," 82 Stat. 1213, 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(3), but that is found by the bureau not to be regulated under
the "National Firearms Act," 68A Stat. 725 (1934), 26 U.S.C. 5845(a) .
Based on this wording, after the Act takes effect as I read it any long gun not regulated under the NFA becomes "dangerous ordnance". As I understand it, that would include pretty much every long gun. However, there is an exclusion in existing Ohio law that changes things somewhat:

(L) "Dangerous ordnance" does not include any of the following:
...
(2) Any pistol, rifle, or shotgun, designed or suitable for sporting purposes, including a
military weapon as issued or as modified, and the ammunition for that weapon, unless the firearm is
an automatic or sawed-off firearm;
In my opinion there is no doubt that the "sporting purposes" exception would cover standard shotguns and typical bolt or lever action rifles. What is unclear is whether that would also apply to AR or AR pattern and other similar rifles. I've seen opinions that go both ways (and for what it's worth I believe that the exception under (L)(2) applies but IANAL, etc.). Since "sporting purposes" is not defined under Ohio law, there are a couple of directions I could imagine this going should overzealous LEOs & prosecutors decide to mess with owners of such rifles (there are probably many more, but I think these two are the most likely).

First, each Ohio court could come up with their own interpretation of "sporting purposes" so more liberal jurisdictions might be more likely to hold that it does not apply to AR/AK and similar rifles, and more conservative jurisdictions find the opposite, etc. Chaos ensues, and ultimately a case gets decided by the Ohio Supreme Court that settles the matter.

Second, the courts could look to other sources for guidance on the meaning of "sporting purposes" and most likely would rely on the ATF published guidance from 1998 (https://www.webharvest.gov/peth04/20041016130545/http://www.atf.gov/pub/treas_pub/assault_rifles/complete.pdf) which is used to limit imports of such rifles. Even though this guidance is 20 years out of date and has only ever been used to limit imports under Federal law, it is the only official guidance for "sporting purposes" I've seen. If so, this would mean that any semi-automatic rifle with one or more of the following "military" characteristics would be considered "dangerous ordnance": folding/telescoping stocks, separate pistol grips, ability to accept a bayonet, flash suppressors, bipods, grenade launchers, and night sights, or the ability to accept a detachable large capacity magazine that was originally designed and produced for the military assault rifles from which they were derived.

No matter which direction this takes, there is significant risk to owners of AR/AK and similar rifles if this takes effect as written. As I understand it the only way to fix this is through another piece of legislation, and the OGA seems ready and willing to pass such a bill. Normally a bill doesn't take effect until 91 days after being passed and signed by the Governor, which is too late to prevent a window in which the flawed law would be in effect. OFCC and other groups are working with legislators in both the Ohio House and Senate to attempt to push emergency legislation through to correct this error which could be set to take effect along with HB228 to prevent such a window. However, passage of emergency legislation requires a 2/3rds majority of both houses for passage, and it does not seem certain that enough Democrats would vote in favor of an emergency bill to correct the error. There may be other avenues to prevent enactment or enforcement of this flawed law, and several of these are being explored as contingency plans in case an emergency bill cannot be passed.
 

eye95

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So, the article goes a bit off the rails by listing firearms features as being the determining factor regarding which firearms would be outlawed. Instead, it is a lack of a “sporting purpose” that would cause the banning of a particular model of firearm.

“Sporting purposes” not being defined in the law then shifts the decision—to regulators, to cops, and to the courts—on whether any particular firearm (including the Shockwave) is legal. Ironically this is precisely the problem the legislation was written to fix. The lack of a definition of “shotgun” meant that a cop could decide that a Shockwave was a shotgun (and therefore, also a “short barreled shotgun”), arrest a carrier, and place him at the mercy of a judge, who would have to adopt a definition of a shotgun.

Were that judge to adopt the definition in federal law, the Shockwave would not be a shotgun, and therefore not be a short barreled shotgun. Were he to adopt (as is more likely) a common language definition, then the Shockwave is a shotgun and therefore also a short barreled shotgun.

The issue could’ve been put to rest by simply adding a definition of shotgun to the law, or adding a statement that terms for firearms not defined in the ORC are to be understood to be defined as in federal law. Instead our legislators, under the watchful eye of Buckeye Firearms, have to write another convoluted mess, filled with exceptions, exceptions to exceptions, exceptions to exceptions to exceptions, etc. to incredible depths.

Not only does this immediate problem need fixing, so does an underlying one. We need an Ohio Arms Law Simplification Act.
__

We who are sellers of firearms have another problem: The law seems to require that we vet people to whom we sell firearms from this nebulous category of non-“sporting purposes” long guns, to ensure that they are properly licensed. We won’t (at least initially, until the confusion clears) do this. We will simply stop selling any long gun that has the slightest possibility of being classified as not for “sporting purposes”.

I will be contacting upper management this morning to alert them to this legal confusion, so that they can raise this issue with corporate legal counsel so that we can have legal guidance on how to proceed (or not proceed) with future sales.

We stopped selling Shockwaves because of legal confusion. Thanks to the legislature and Buckeye Firearms, what was a puddle of confusion is now the Pacific Ocean! Good job, guys.
 

solus

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Aug 22, 2013
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Location
here nc
The OP’s cited article seems to be two prong with extreme bias on both counts:
1. Cited article quote:
The result is that unless the General Assembly takes emergency action by March 24th, gun owners in the Buckeye state will see lawfully purchased AR15’s, AK47’s, and firearms with a pistol grip, thumbhole stock, flash suppressor or threaded barrel become “non-sporting” and thus illegal.

Nowhere in the text of the bill cited by OCforME any type of description of these forms of ‘enhancements’ for currently made firearms.

2. IMHO The cited article’s theme wasn’t so much aimed at the new Ohio Statutory consideration(s) [especially since apparently there are obvious erroneous information, e.g. dates and misinformation] but rather seemed a very personal attack on specific grassroot enities and their overseers!

Come on now folks, do you truly believe the Ohio Legislature is quick and astute enough to get into collusion with LEs to form a conspiracy surrounding the term ‘sporting purposes’ really?

Oh wait, a wayword LE or agency MIGHT ~ ya that will happen w/o stautory permission, now won’t it.

Eyey95, run to sr mgmt on the sky is falling based on the hyperbole you just typed from the bogus cited aticle...we’ll wait.
[as of mar 17 atf cleared the mossburg shotgun https://www.mossberg.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Shockwave-Letter-from-ATF-3-2-17.pdf]
 

eye95

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Fairborn, Ohio, USA
I contacted our management. As requested, I have compiled HB228 and some of the analyses (including the good work from JustaShooter) into an email. This information will likely be pushed up the chain of command, ultimately to our corporation general counsel.

Since we would have to check licenses before selling (or just not sell) non-sporting purposes long guns, we need a reading from the corporation general counsel. We have always prided ourselves in going the extra mile to ensure we operate only within the law.

Anyone in this thread not seeing the necessity of getting a legal reading on the matter is willfullly behaving ignorantly. I suspect that the lawyers who post on OCDO would agree with the necessity for getting a reading before just plowing ahead.
 

eye95

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SB53, “The Fix”, has been in committee for just over a week now, and it is still in committee.

Yeah, they’re gonna have this fixed in four week’s time!

If this bill does not pass and get signed before March 28th, and if the general counsel has not issued a crystal clear (and reasonable) definition of “sporting purpose”, for which he (and not I) will bear legal responsibility, I will simply not sell any long guns to anyone, beginning March 28th and until SB 53 takes effect.

I ain’t risking goin’ to jail for no one!

The Ohio legislature needs to get this bill enacted on time (increasingly unlikely). Retailers need to prepare for SB53 not being passed in a timely manner and develop a fall-back policy.
 

OC for ME

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Man, what a royal pain. This is one way to stop gun sales...oops, my tinfoil hat slipped a wee bit...[adjusting] there that's better.

I guess they will pass as many anti-gun laws as possible before SCOTUS gets a case that nullifies them nation wide...if we get lucky that is...not holding my breath.
 

eye95

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OK, some better news:

The House has a version. The text of the correction to the law would be identical to the Senate version, however the House version also includes amnesty for any violations of the law between March 28th and HB86’s taking of effect.

It passed the House yesterday.

Let’s hope the Senate assigns more urgency to addressing the House bill than it has shown to its own.
 

JustaShooter

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SB53, “The Fix”, has been in committee for just over a week now, and it is still in committee.

Yeah, they’re gonna have this fixed in four week’s time!
SB53 passed the Senate 24-8 a few days ago, FWIW.

The House version also passed, as you noted. However, there is enough difference between the two bills that either the Senate will have to pass the House bill as-is, or the House pass the Senate version as-is - if either modifies the other's bill before passage then it has to go through concurrence... Hopefully, the Senate just passes the House version and calls it done.
 

eye95

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Has anyone seed any movement on either bill? I see nothing after each passed its respective House.

Is there another bill that resolves the differences between them? We have a little over two weeks before we become criminals.
 

color of law

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Has anyone seed any movement on either bill? I see nothing after each passed its respective House.

Is there another bill that resolves the differences between them? We have a little over two weeks before we become criminals.
Just waiting for Governor DeWine to sign House Bill 86.
 

JustaShooter

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HB 86 has been signed by Gov. DeWine. The emergency clause within the Act will allow it to take effect simultaneously with HB228 on March 28th, preventing the error from becoming law (and finally making Shockwaves and similar firearms legal in Ohio without requiring a Dangerous Ordnance license..)
 

color of law

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But, part of the bill does not take effect until December 28, 2019.
Section 9.68 of the Revised Code, as amended by this act, shall take effect nine months after the effective date of this act.
 

Brian D.

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But, part of the bill does not take effect until December 28, 2019.
Section 9.68 of the Revised Code, as amended by this act, shall take effect nine months after the effective date of this act.
That part seems to be an attempt to give political subdivisions with laws not currently in compliance with ORC 9.68, some more time to get rid of them without legal consequence.
 
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