Ohio school shooting: why the gun owner won't be held accountable
Ohio has no laws governing child access to guns on its books and there are not yet signs the shooting in Chardon will force a reassessment of the state’s gun laws.
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Twenty-eight states have Child Access Prevention laws that make adults liable if it is determined that children were able to access their firearms, although the liability depends on certain factors that vary by state. For example, only six states — Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Texas — makes adults liable whether or not the child uses the firearm to cause injury, while eight other states punish adults only if the firearm is used. Other states impose liability if the weapon is not stored property.Skip to next paragraph
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Ohio has no laws governing child access to guns on its books and as recently as this month state lawmakers debated a bill that would allow concealed guns in schools. The proposed bill would extend a provision to the state’s conceal-carry law, signed last year by Gov. John Kasich (R), that allows concealed firearms into bars, restaurants, shopping malls, nightclubs, and sports arenas.
The number of Ohioans carrying concealed weapons almost tripled in the state over the past three years, from 56,691 in 2009 to 153,853 in 2011, according to the Ohio Attorney General. To date, about 265,000 Ohioans have permits allowing them to carry a concealed firearm.
There are not yet signs the shooting in Chardon will force a reassessment of the state’s gun laws. US House Speaker John Boehner (R) of Ohio told reporters Tuesday at a Washington press conference that he felt sympathy for the victims of Monday’s shooting and added that “there are about 250 million guns in America, so they are out there, but people should use them responsibly.”