The following is a video transcript.
Hello U.S. LawShield members. It’s Wilkes Ellsworth, your Independent Program Attorney back again to discuss the three of the most common mistakes Ohio gun owners make all too regularly.
Number one: brandishing a firearm when it isn’t justified to threaten deadly force. The statute says, “No person shall knowingly cause another to believe that the offender will cause serious physical harm to the person or property of the other person, the other person’s unborn, or a member of the other person’s immediate family.” If you threaten to shoot someone or make them believe you will, and are not justified to do so, you could be charged with Aggravated Menacing. Remember, you must have a bona fide belief your life is in danger or that you may suffer great bodily harm, and you must believe your firearm is the only option you have to avoid it, before you use it.
Not Complying with Law Enforcement
Mistake number two: failing to comply with law enforcement. You need to be very careful when engaging police officers while carrying a loaded firearm. License holders: Ohio is a “shall notify” state. When you are approached by law enforcement for any law enforcement purpose, you must promptly inform the officer you have your loaded firearm with you at that time. I have members tell me, “But it was in the trunk of my car, so I didn’t think I had to tell them” or, “I had it in the glove compartment and I forgot.” I see it so often. Officers will charge you for this without hesitation.
Safety, Transportation, and Storage
Mistake number three (this one is kind of a catchall): safety, transportation, and storage. I see so many people who aren’t steadfast in how they handle firearms in public, how they transport them, or when moving them from their person to their car. For example, I was at my daughter’s soccer game and the lady parked directly in front of me took her loaded firearm out. I watched as she set it on the roof of her car, then unloaded all of her chairs, blankets, and everything else she was taking. Then she promptly walked away from her car, leaving her gun still sitting on the roof. I simply got out of my vehicle and reminded her about it, to her great surprise.
Please, be more conscientious than this person was. Transport firearms properly. If you have a license, you may have them loaded, of course. If you do not, then you must transport them in an unloaded fashion, and in a closed case, separate and apart from the ammunition.
Finally, never forget proper storage is very important, as careless storage can lead to serious incidents, which could cost you big time, either in a criminal court or a civil court. Ohio law does not dictate how you store your firearm, but common law does. Take the proper precautions. Continuing your firearm education is always a good idea as well. Get and stay proficient with your gun, and always be conscientious of those around you in public and at home.
Now of course, there are more mistakes people make and if you have any questions on any of those, or anything else for that matter, please call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.
“If you do not, then you must transport them in an unloaded fashion, and in a closed case, separate and apart from the ammunition.”
In this mode of carry, do you still need to notify?
Thanks for the vid.
Jeffrey: The quote was directed at those individuals without a license to carry a concealed firearm. There is no duty on an unlicensed individual to inform law enforcement that they are transporting their unloaded firearm in their trunk for instance as they are transporting it legally as long as it is separate and apart from the firearm in one of the ways that conforms to the statute. The duty comes from ORC 2923.126 and is directed at Ohio CCW license holders. License holders must always notify law enforcement that they are carrying their firearm, and while some might argue that if the ammunition is not in the firearm itself there is no duty, that is not good practice and could lead to serious consequences. As a license holder you need to inform law enforcement anytime you come into contact with them for a law enforcement purpose and are in possession of your firearm. Hope this helps clarify. Call US LawShield and ask to speak to me if you have any other questions. Thanks for the question. Wilkes.
My firearm was stolen from my truck, i am a meticulous gun owner and have left my firearm in my truck 1 time in my life…and it was stolen that night. I called off work around 745 went to bed sick around 830-900 and in the process either my girlfriend or i forgot to lock my truck (unsure of who it was due to us both moving the truck multiple times that day.)I am loosing sleep thinking if someone is hurt using my stolen firearm am i to be held liable? If i am processed in a court room is there a defense for this? Im in Ohio.
Brandishing is not against the law in Ohio. The intent of the gun is to defend yourself and as a deterrent. So when you need to be ready to defend oneself, how do you prevent the other person (which I won’t call a victim or suspect) from believing physical harm is about to come to them. That is what generally happens when you see a gun in a confrontation. No matter what the gun holder’s intent is. The statute is also covering aggravated menacing, which is different from brandishing. That’s like saying every time you brandish your weapon your intent is to cause harm to someone, when the intent could be in preparation, to deter, to deescalate, etc. Like a police officer holds his hand against his weapon before withdrawing if need be. Are police ever charged with “brandishing” their weapon? Obviously not. Brandishing is not crime in my opinion and really isn’t in Ohio either. It can be “add-on” after committing an offense.