House Bill 395, sponsored by Representative Bill Patmon (D-10), would prohibit the manufacture, sale or transfer of any trigger crank, bump-fire device, or other product that accelerates a semi-automatic firearm’s rate of fire but does not convert it into an automatic firearm. Similar to bills in other states, there is overreaching language that would potentially ban many firearm modifications commonly used by law-abiding citizens. This broad language could be easily interpreted to ban match grade triggers, ergonomic enhancements, recoil reducing weights, muzzle brakes, and other modifications that countless law-abiding gun owners utilize in order to make their firearms more user friendly and suitable for self-defense, competition, hunting, and even adapting to physical disability. Many of these modifications simply make it easier to deliver accurate and controlled shots with less physical discomfort for the shooter without fundamentally changing the mechanics of how a firearm operates.
In addition, the committee will also be having sponsor testimony on House Bill 305. Introduced by Representatives Boyd (D-9) and Antonio (D-13), House Bill 305 would expand gun disqualifications and the surrender of firearms on conviction for specified offenses or the issuance of protective orders. Even though current federal and state law address firearm disqualifications for protective orders, House Bill 305 would expand current law with unnecessary changes that do the following:
Criminalizes Existing Crimes. Federal law already prohibits persons subject to domestic violence protective orders from receiving or possessing guns, and likewise already has a firearm prohibition for any person who has a misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence or who has been convicted of a felony or other qualifying crime. A violation of this federal law is a felony and punishable by up to ten years imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine on conviction, under 18 U.S.C. § 924.
Court Powers. A court issuing a protective order in Ohio already has the power to make the order subject to any terms that the court determines is necessary for the safety and protection of the petitioner. However, the bill removes the discretion that a court already has to assess whether a surrender order is justified in these circumstances; the bill mandates a gun surrender in all cases, regardless of whether the person even owns guns.
Creates “Instant Felons.” The proposed firearm surrender deadlines are mandatory and require surrender and filing compliance documents with a court within a maximum time of 48 hours. Since courts are not open 24 hours a day, seven days a week; the bill has no exceptions for persons who in good faith take all possible steps but miss the deadline because the court is closed on a weekend or holiday. Because a failure to comply with the surrender provisions is a felony, the bill has the potential to make anyone subject to a protective order a felon.
No Surrender to Third Party. The bill would eliminate various firearm third party safe keeping measures and requires surrender to law enforcement or to a willing Federal Firearm License (FFL) dealer, thus eliminating the options of storing firearms with a family member or other third party designated as appropriate by the court, even in the case of a short-term, fixed-duration protective order. In addition, the bill allows both law enforcement and FFLs to charge fees for the storage of guns, which means that in some cases, the costs of the storage may exceed the value of the guns.
Your NRA will follow developments on these bills. Stay tuned to www.nraila.org and your email inbox for further updates on these bills and others affecting your Second Amendment rights in Ohio.