This bill would eliminate the criminal charges associated with lawfully carrying a firearm into a gun free zone.
Concealed handgun permit holders caught carrying on school grounds and other gun-free sites would no longer be subject to prison time under a bill introduced in the Ohio House.
Rep. John Becker, a Clermont County Republican, sponsored a bill decriminalizing the violation. Under House Bill 233, a concealed handgun license holder, with a concealed firearm, discovered in a gun-free zone must leave upon request.
Failure to leave subjects the person to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $250 fine. Currently, violators caught in most government buildings face a fifth-degree felony charge and could spend up to 12 months in prison and pay a $2,500 fine.
State law lists dozens of areas where concealed weapons are forbidden: police stations, sheriff's offices, highway patrol posts, correctional institutions, courthouses, churches, universities and school safety zones. Private business owners can also post a sign banning concealed weapons in their businesses.
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