This week the House of Representatives ignored a united business community and quickly moved House Bill 233, a new gun bill, from committee and off the House floor.
The bill originally intended to protect those who mistakenly bring weapons into prohibited areas now provides a carve-out for a concealed handgun licensee or a qualified military member who ignores posted signs prohibiting persons from carrying firearms onto the land or those premises. The bill takes away a manufacturer’s ability to keep firearms off of its property, even if a sign prohibiting the carrying of a firearm is posted in a conspicuous area.
In its opposition testimony the OMA stated that, “… current law sufficiently protects licensees in these (mistaken) situations. In order to violate current law a licensee has to “knowingly” violate a prohibition. The law already protects those who unknowingly or mistakenly bring a weapon onto a prohibited property.
“Businesses own the decision about whether or not an individual can bring a concealed weapon onto their private properties. The law already provides clear guidance about who breaks the law in these situations. House Bill 233 is unnecessary and is a solution to a nonexistent problem.”
The bill still needs to be approved by the Senate. 7/6/2017