130th Ohio General Assembly
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(126th General Assembly)
(Substitute House Bill Number 279)



AN ACT
To enact sections 317.082 and 2923.201 of the Revised Code to prohibit a person from changing, altering, removing, or obliterating the name of the manufacturer, model, manufacturer's serial number, or any other mark of identification on a firearm, to prohibit a person from possessing a firearm knowing or having reasonable cause to believe any such mark of identification on the firearm has been changed, altered, removed, or obliterated, to prohibit the inclusion of an individual's Social Security number on documents submitted for recording in the office of the county recorder, and to create an affirmative defense to associated civil liability of a good faith effort to comply with the noninclusion requirement.

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

SECTION 1.  That sections 317.082 and 2923.201 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:

Sec. 317.082.  (A) As used in this section, "preparer" means any mortgage company, bank, title agency, or other person responsible for filing documents with the office of a county recorder for recording under section 317.08 of the Revised Code.

(B) Except as provided in division (C) or (D) of this section, the preparer of any document to be recorded by a county recorder under section 317.08 of the Revised Code shall not include any individual's social security number in any document that is filed for recording in the office of the county recorder under that section. The county recorder shall not accept such a document for recording if it includes any individual's social security number. If a document presented for recording includes any individual's social security number and the county recorder refuses to accept that document for recording, the county recorder or the person who attempted to file the document with the county recorder may immediately redact the individual's social security number from the document.

The preparer is not liable in damages in a civil action for any harm an individual allegedly sustains as a result of the inclusion of the individual's social security number on a document in violation of this division if the preparer establishes as an affirmative defense that the preparer made a good faith effort to comply with this division. The county recorder and the county recorder's employees are immune from liability in damages in a civil action brought against the county recorder or an employee of the county recorder to recover damages for any harm an individual allegedly sustains as a result of the county recorder or an employee of the county recorder accepting a document that includes the individual's social security number in violation of this division, unless the county recorder or an employee of the county recorder accepted that document with malicious purpose, in bad faith, or in a wanton or reckless manner, or division (A)(6)(a) or (c) of section 2744.03 of the Revised Code applies.

(C) An individual who executes a document that must be filed by a preparer for recording in the office of the county recorder under section 317.08 of the Revised Code may execute an affidavit consenting to the inclusion of the individual's social security number in the document. If an individual executes an affidavit consenting to the inclusion of the individual's social security number in the document under this division, division (B) of this section does not apply to the preparer of the document or to the county recorder and the county recorder's employees.

(D) Division (B) of this section does not apply to any of the following:

(1) Any document that originates with any court or taxing authority;

(2) Any document that upon its filing for recording in the office of the county recorder under section 317.08 of the Revised Code constitutes a nonconsensual lien against an individual;

(3) Any publicly recorded document that is required by federal or state law to include an individual's social security number.

(E) This section does not apply to documents that were executed by an individual prior to the effective date of this section.

Sec. 2923.201. (A) No person shall do either of the following:

(1) Change, alter, remove, or obliterate the name of the manufacturer, model, manufacturer's serial number, or other mark of identification on a firearm.

(2) Possess a firearm knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the name of the manufacturer, model, manufacturer's serial number, or other mark of identification on the firearm has been changed, altered, removed, or obliterated.

(B)(1) Whoever violates division (A)(1) of this section is guilty of defacing identification marks of a firearm. Except as otherwise provided in this division, defacing identification marks of a firearm is a misdemeanor of the first degree. If the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of division (A)(1) of this section, defacing identification marks of a firearm is a felony of the fourth degree.

(2) Whoever violates division (A)(2) of this section is guilty of possessing a defaced firearm. Except as otherwise provided in this division, possessing a defaced firearm is a misdemeanor of the first degree. If the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of division (A)(2) of this section, possessing a defaced firearm is a felony of the fourth degree.

(C) Division (A) of this section does not apply to any firearm on which no manufacturer's serial number was inscribed at the time of its manufacture.

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