130th Ohio General Assembly
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(124th General Assembly)
(Amended House Bill Number 192)



AN ACT
To enact section 2305.401 of the Revised Code as a general law to provide a qualified immunity from civil liability and injunctive relief to members of the firearms industry that will be both prospective and retroactive in its application.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:

SECTION 1.  That section 2305.401 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:

Sec. 2305.401.  (A) As used in this section:

(1) "Ammunition" means any projectile capable of being expelled or propelled from a firearm by the action of an explosive or combustible propellant.

(2) "Firearm" has the same meaning as in section 2923.11 of the Revised Code.

(3) Except as provided in division (C)(2) of this section, "harm" means injury, death, or loss to person or property.

(4) "Member of the firearms industry" means any manufacturer, dealer, or importer of firearms, firearms components, or firearms ammunition or any trade association the members of which, in whole or in part, are manufacturers, dealers, or importers of firearms, firearms components, or firearms ammunition.

(5) "Person" has the same meaning as in section 1.59 of the Revised Code and additionally includes all governmental entities.

(6) "Tort action" means a civil action for damages for injury, death, or loss to person or property other than a civil action for damages for a breach of contract or another agreement between persons.

(B)(1) Except as provided in divisions (B)(2) and (3) of this section and subject to division (C) of this section, a member of the firearms industry is not liable in damages in, and is not subject to a grant of injunctive relief in, a tort or other civil action for harm allegedly sustained by any person as a result of the operation or discharge of a firearm. Except as provided in divisions (B)(2) and (3) of this section and subject to division (C) of this section, a person who allegedly sustains harm as a result of the operation or discharge of a firearm or that person's personal representative does not have a claim for relief against, and may not recover damages or injunctive relief in a tort or other civil action against, a member of the firearms industry based upon that harm.

(2) A member of the firearms industry forfeits the immunity from civil liability and injunctive relief conferred by division (B)(1) of this section if the member of the firearms industry operates or discharges the firearm that results in the harm that is the basis of the claim for relief in the tort or other civil action in a manner that constitutes negligence, willful or wanton misconduct, or intentionally tortious conduct or that constitutes a criminal violation of law.

(3) A member of the firearms industry forfeits the immunity from civil liability and injunctive relief conferred by division (B)(1) of this section if the member of the firearms industry sells, lends, gives, or furnishes to any person, in violation of section 2923.20 or 2923.21 or another section of the Revised Code or in violation of federal law, the firearm that results in the harm that is the basis of the claim for relief in the tort or other civil action.

(C)(1) This section does not create a new cause of action or substantive legal right against a member of the firearms industry.

(2) This section does not limit the availability against a member of the firearms industry of a civil action that seeks damages for harm and that is based on a product liability claim authorized by Chapter 2307. of the Revised Code. As used in this division, "harm" and "product liability claim" have the same meanings as in section 2307.71 of the Revised Code.

(3) This section does not limit the availability against a member of the firearms industry of a civil action for a breach of an express provision of a contract or of another agreement between persons, or a civil action for a breach of an express warranty, pertaining to firearms, firearms components, or firearms ammunition.

(D) This section applies to tort or other civil actions commenced on or after the effective date of this section, or commenced prior to and pending on the effective date of this section, for damages or injunctive relief based upon harm allegedly sustained by any person as a result of the operation or discharge of a firearm prior to, on, or after the effective date of this section.

SECTION 2.  It is the intent of the General Assembly in enacting division (D) of section 2305.401 of the Revised Code in this act to provide for both the prospective and retroactive application of the qualified immunity from civil liability and injunctive relief provisions of section 2305.401 of the Revised Code, as enacted by this act as a general law. If, however, the Ohio Supreme Court determines, in any litigation that may be commenced to contest the constitutionality of the qualified immunity from civil liability and injunctive relief provisions of section 2305.401 of the Revised Code, that the retroactive application of those provisions would be violative of either the United States Constitution or the Ohio Constitution, it is the intent of the General Assembly that the severability provision of section 1.50 of the Revised Code be applied, that the qualified immunity from civil liability and injunctive relief provisions of divisions (A), (B), and (C) of section 2305.401 of the Revised Code be severed from the unconstitutional provisions of division (D) of that section, and that the qualified immunity from civil liability and injunctive relief provisions of divisions (A), (B), and (C) of section 2305.401 of the Revised Code be given prospective application consistent with section 1.48 of the Revised Code.

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