Two Republican state Representatives have introduced a bill that aims to reduce firearms regulations and expand Second Amendment rights in Ohio.
House Bill (HB) 51 known as the “Second Amendment Preservation Act” sponsored by state Representatives Mike Loychik (R-Bazetta) and Jean Schmidt (R-Loveland) takes several steps to protect the Second Amendment by adding further protections to the right to bear arms, and removing federal firearms law references from the state firearms control law.
“As a conservative representative for the people of Trumbull and Ashtabula Counties, I strongly support protecting the Second Amendment right to bear arms here in Ohio. This bill further protects the right of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and their loved ones,” Loychik said.
HB 51 prohibits Ohio law enforcement from being forced to uphold unconstitutional executive directives, federal gun control laws, or agency rule interpretations. Instead, this bill ensures that Ohio officers and law enforcement, who are paid for by Ohio taxpayers, uphold Ohio’s laws regarding weapons, ammunition, and accessories.
The legislation also encompasses penalties that give standing to citizens who have had their rights infracted to sue agencies, not agents, whose employees violated those rights.
In order to ensure that the hundreds of thousands of legally acquired “pistol-braced” firearms that Ohioans own and possess continue to be legal under state law, this bill addresses the lawless Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) recent ruling that reclassified pistol braces as short-barreled-rifles and thus subject to National Firearms Act restrictions. It does this by removing language from the Ohio Revised Code that directly connected Ohio law to current and future federal laws, rulings, and executive orders under the National Firearms Act.
According to Schmidt, this was a clear overreach of the federal government against law abiding citizens.
“This bill helps to stand against these unlawful rules by ensuring that Ohio gun law is the standard for those who reside in Ohio,” Schmidt said.
This bill does not apply to felons, illegal aliens or those committing crimes according to the state of Ohio.
According to Loychik the bill does not violate the supremacy clause which states that the federal constitution/laws usually take precedence over state constitutions/laws. HB 51 does not challenge the supremacy clause. It merely states that Ohio will not help the federal government enforce their gun-control agenda.
“This bill is a check against a government that seems to disregard our fundamental and constitutional rights,” Schmidt said.
According to Loychik, this legislation is similar to what the state of Missouri passed in 2021.
Buckeye Firearms Association Executive Director Dean Rieck told The Ohio Star that HB 51 seeks to make Ohio a sanctuary state for Second Amendment rights. If passed, Ohio would not enforce certain federal firearm laws. This is similar to how some states have dealt with federal immigration laws or even marijuana. In the case of marijuana, the federal government continues to outlaw its possession and use. However, Ohio has refused to enforce that law and even makes marijuana legal at the state level for those with a doctor’s prescription.
“No state can literally nullify federal law, and federal officials can continue to enforce their own laws. However, Ohio can choose to deny resources to enforce those laws. That is the core purpose of HB 51, to prevent enforcement of certain federal firearm laws when the state believes those law violate constitutional rights,” Rieck told The Star.
Loychik previously introduced similar legislation during the 134th General Assembly.
House Bill 51 is currently in the House Government Oversight Committee.
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Hannah Poling is a lead reporter at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Hannah on Twitter @HannahPoling1. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Mike Loychik” by The Ohio House of Representatives. Photo “Jean Schmidt” by The Ohio House of Representatives. Background Photo “Ohio Statehouse” by Ɱ. CC BY-SA 4.0.