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New Law Could Impose Felony Charges on Gun Owners Whose Firearms End Up In the Hands of Children

Posted On: June 26th, 2019   |   Posted by: Luftman, Heck & Associates LLP
Black handgun on table

Gun laws are constantly changing due to increasing stories of firearm violence in the news and legislative measures to make communities safer. The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution protects your right to own a firearm, subject to some restrictions. If you are an owner, seller, or purchaser of firearms, you need to fully understand your rights. Breaking a state or federal law could result in felony gun charges. Ignorance of the law is no excuse – even if regulations have recently changed.

The Columbus weapons attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates can help you understand with the laws regarding firearm ownership, transport, storage, and sale. Don’t let a simple misunderstanding end in a criminal charge. To schedule a free and confidential consultation of your case, contact us today at (614) 500-3836.

Understanding Ohio’s New Firearms Legislation

A new bill in Ohio could soon penalize gun owners who allow a child access to their weapons. If the bill is passed, prosecutors can charge gun owners with a first-degree felony if a person is injured by a gun in possession of a minor.

The proposed law, sponsored by State Representative Brigid Kelly, is similar to laws that have already been passed in 23 other states. The purpose of the bill is to crack down on gun owners who allow children to access their weapons, and encourage gun owners to keep all firearms secured.

Child Access Prevention Bill

The Child Access Prevention law would require gun owners to keep guns safely secured in an area with a tamper-resistant lock if there are children present at home. The bill is sponsored by Representative Kelley and State Representative Jessica Miranda.

The lawmakers cited a 2018 study from Giffords Law Center which found that in the United States, around 4.6 million minors live in a home with at least one loaded firearm that is accessible in an unlocked area. A major reason for the proposed legislation is the rise in school shootings. According to statistics, 65% of school shooters used weapons they were able to access at home to commit their crimes.

An Ohio law already requires licensed firearm dealers to offer gun locking devices to gun purchasers, but these devices are not required to be purchased during the sale of a firearm. If the bill is passed, guns would need to be secured and inoperable to minors.

Understand Your Rights

Gun ownership is an important right in America, but there are some restrictions that you should understand regarding your gun rights. Carrying a gun illegally can result in felony gun charges and the loss of your right to bear arms.

In Ohio, you do not need a gun license to own or purchase a firearm, nor are you required to register any firearms that you own. You may purchase firearms from a licensed dealer after passing background checks or receive a gun as a gift from a family member as long as you are not prohibited by law from owning a firearm. An example of a situation that would prohibit you from legally owning a gun is if you have been convicted of a violent felony, or one involving drugs or alcohol.

State and federal laws restrict when and how you can carry a gun. You must generally have a concealed carry permit to carry a gun in a public place. In some areas, having a gun is prohibited even if you have a concealed carry permit. If you are carrying a gun with a concealed carry permit and are stopped by police, you must promptly inform the officers of your concealed carry license and that you have a weapon.

If you are transporting a weapon in a vehicle, it must be properly secured and stored. Failure to do so can result in being charged with a crime. It is also a crime to knowingly fire a weapon from a vehicle.

Certain types of weapons are illegal to possess. You may not possess any weapon with the intent to use it in a crime. Possession of certain types of criminal tools is a misdemeanor in Ohio, but the charge may be upgraded to a felony if the state can prove that you intended to use the item to commit a crime. If you have any questions about your rights to possess a firearm, weapon, or tool, seek legal help today.

Consult a Columbus, Ohio Weapons Attorney

When it comes to owning, transporting, using, or selling firearms, you should understand federal, state, and local ordinances to avoid being charged with a crime. Gun ownership is an important responsibility that requires knowledge of the latest regulations on gun control. If you have been charged with a crime involving a gun, speak to an attorney at Luftman, Heck & Associates right away. Call (614) 500-3836 today, or reach out online to schedule a free consultation of your case.

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