April 12, 2021 - Columbus, Ohio: Today, April 12, is the enactment date for SB 140, Knife Rights' Ohio Knife Law Reform bill. Effective today Ohio knife law is changed in the following manner:
1. The ban on manufacture and sale of "switchblade," "spring blade" and "gravity" knives is repealed. Possession and open carry has always been legal and concealed carry was legal except for the jeopardy inherent in the extreme vagueness of Ohio's concealed "deadly weapon" law.
2. The issue of that troublesome vagueness is now cleared up because a knife, razor or cutting instrument can no longer be considered a "deadly weapon" or "weapon" when concealed unless it is used as a weapon. This allows carrying any knife concealed under state law unless it is actually used as a weapon to commit an illegal act.
Knife Rights founder and Chairman Doug Ritter said, "this is a great day for Ohioans who no longer have to worry that they might be arrested under a dangerously vague state law for carrying a common tool, their pocket knife, concealed in their pocket. We're proud to have worked with legislators from both sides of the aisle to enact this important criminal justice reform."
As a reminder, Knife Rights' signature knife law preemption has not yet been enacted in in Ohio, so individual cities and towns may still have knife ordinances more restrictive than state law. Knife Rights’ LegalBlade™ Knife Law App includes laws in a number of Ohio cities as well as provides links to find municipal codes of many Ohio cities and towns.
To address this remaining problem with Ohio knife law, Representative Al Cutrona introduced HB 243 to enact Knife Rights' signature Knife Law Preemption in Ohio. Senator Kristina Roegner, sponsor of SB 140, has filed an HB 243 companion bill in the Senate, bill number pending.
Knife Law Preemption is a Knife Rights criminal justice reform effort that repeals and prevents 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 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.
About Knife Rights:
Knife Rights (www.KnifeRights.org) 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 33 bills enacted repealing knife bans in 23 states and over 100 cities and towns since 2010.