Ohio Senate Passes Knife Law Preemption Bill

The Ohio Senate has passed Knife Rights’ Knife Law Preemption bill, SB 156, by a vote of 23-7. It now moves to the House where a companion bill, HB 243, is awaiting a vote by the House Government Oversight Committee, expected shortly.

SB 156 Sponsor Senator Kristina Roegner said, “Ohioans carrying knives, whether for work or self-defense, face a confusing and impossible to follow patchwork of local ordinances. Currently, what is legal to carry and possess in one town may be a serious crime to possess in another. Senate Bill 156 is criminal justice reform legislation that seeks to save law-abiding citizens from entrapment while traveling throughout the state.”

She added, “Ohio currently recognizes the individual right to keep and bear arms, and that this is a fundamental individual right predating both the US and Ohio Constitutions. Senate Bill 156 clarifies that this right to bear arms is not limited to firearms, but also includes knives,” and SB 156 includes knives in Ohio’s preemption statute.

These bills follow enactment earlier this year of Knife Rights’ Ohio Knife Law Reform bill, SB 140, also sponsored by Sen. Roegner. Without knife law preemption making those reforms applicable statewide, numerous cities and towns in Ohio are still able to ban many knives that are perfectly legal under Ohio’s statutes.

Knife Rights Director of Legislative Affairs, Todd Rathner, said “Senator Roegner is a true champion of knife law reform and we appreciate all of her hard work on this critical issue.”

Knife Law Preemption is a Knife Rights’ criminal justice reform effort that nullifies existing ordinances and prevents new local ordinances more restrictive than state law which only serve to confuse or entrap law-abiding citizens traveling within or through the state. Preemption ensures citizens can expect consistent enforcement of state knife laws everywhere within a state.

Knife Rights drafted the model legislation and passed the nation’s first Knife Law Preemption bill in Arizona in 2010 and has since passed preemption bills in Alaska, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Knife Rights is America’s grassroots knife owners’ organization; leading the fight to Rewrite Knife Law in America™ and forging a Sharper Future for all Americans™. Knife Rights efforts have resulted in 34 bills enacted repealing knife bans in 23 states and over 150 cities and towns since 2010.