Home Law Ohio lawmakers may have accidentally banned legal firearms due to error in wording of bill

Ohio lawmakers may have accidentally banned legal firearms due to error in wording of bill

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An error in the approved draft of an Ohio state legislature bill classified several legal guns as illegal, though the issue is being addressed.

A mistake found in an Ohio bill that legislators approved last year could result in an unintentional ban on several legal firearms.

The bill was intended to allow off-duty law enforcement officials to carry certain firearms and to legalize some varieties of short-barreled shotguns, which are federally legal but currently illegal in Ohio. Due to an apparently misplaced paragraph, however, several legal guns were listed as illegal in the new bill.

“It’s a drafting error,” Sean Maloney, the legislation expert for the Buckeye Firearms Association, said. “You’re dealing with legislation that’s been going on for two years. They’ve been making changes, and somebody probably clicked and pasted something in the wrong spot. If it had been a couple of more sections lower in the bill, this wouldn’t be an issue.”

The bill in question does not take effect until March and will be reviewed at a committee meeting on Tuesday. Even if the bill takes effect in its current form, Maloney said it will not be enforced.

“It’s really not that big of a concern,” Maloney said. “I know that some of the other gun groups and organizations are screaming and yelling that it’s going to ban all the firearms. Well, it’s a huge conflict of law to pass that piece of legislation and have that in the Ohio revised code along with all of the other pieces of law that say the exact opposite.”

Maloney also said he will be testifying at the committee meeting Tuesday to review and correct the bill’s wording.

The bill was not intended to criminalize any new guns, but it will legalize shotguns with barrels shorter than 16 inches long. Though currently illegal in Ohio, shotguns of that type are federally legal and already sold in some Ohio gun stores, according to the Associated Press.

The Buckeye Firearms Association is an activist group and political action committee focused on issues regarding the right to bear arms.

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