Safe Storage Law – Dead on Arrival

Following the Dayton Massacre (nine dead, twenty-seven injured in less than a minute), a number of laws were introduced to help curb gun violence.  House Bill No. 240 was among these.

Safe Storage Law – House Bill No. 240

This law would require gun owners with minors living at home to lock up firearms.  If a minor gained improper access to a firearm, it would be a third degree misdemeanor.  If a minor gained improper access to a firearm and it caused injury or death to another, it would be a first degree felony.

House Bill No. 240 is currently sitting in the House Criminal Justice Committee. It is not expected to move forward, as covered by the Columbus Dispatch in this article.

Opponents of the H.B. 240 argue existing law is sufficient. Opponents believe a gun owner who leaves a gun unsecured could be charged with child endangerment. In theory, this is true.  Under current law, however, it is only a theoretical crime after a child has been injured.  Having an unsecured firearm in a home with a minor is not prima facie child endangerment under current Ohio law.

H.B. 240 would change that by making gun owners proactively take steps to secure firearms when children are present, or face criminal prosecution.

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