2917.33 Unlawful possession or use of a hoax weapon of mass destruction.

(A) No person, without privilege to do so, shall manufacture, possess, sell, deliver, display, use, threaten to use, attempt to use, conspire to use, or make readily accessible to others a hoax weapon of mass destruction with the intent to deceive or otherwise mislead one or more persons into believing that the hoax weapon of mass destruction will cause terror, bodily harm, or property damage.

(B) This section does not apply to any member or employee of the armed forces of the United States, a governmental agency of this state, another state, or the United States, or a private entity, to whom all of the following apply:

(1) The member or employee otherwise is engaged in lawful activity within the scope of the member's or employee's duties or employment.

(2) The member or employee otherwise is duly authorized or licensed to manufacture, possess, sell, deliver, display, or otherwise engage in activity as described in division (A) of this section.

(3) The member or employee is in compliance with applicable federal and state law.

(C) Whoever violates this section is guilty of unlawful possession or use of a hoax weapon of mass destruction, a felony of the fourth degree.

(D) Any act that is a violation of this section and any other section of the Revised Code may be prosecuted under this section, the other section, or both sections.

(E) As used in this section:

(1) "Hoax weapon of mass destruction" means any device or object that by its design, construction, content, or characteristics appears to be, appears to constitute, or appears to contain, or is represented as being, constituting, or containing, a weapon of mass destruction and to which either of the following applies:

(a) It is, in fact, an inoperative facsimile, imitation, counterfeit, or representation of a weapon of mass destruction that does not meet the definition of a weapon of mass destruction.

(b) It does not actually contain or constitute a weapon, biological agent, toxin, vector, or delivery system.

(2) "Biological agent" means any microorganism, virus, infectious substance, or biological product that may be engineered through biotechnology, or any naturally occurring or bioengineered component of any microorganism, virus, infectious substance, or biological product that may be engineered through biotechnology, capable of causing any of the following:

(a) Death, disease, or other biological malfunction in a human, an animal, a plant, or another living organism;

(b) Deterioration of food, water, equipment, supplies, or material of any kind;

(c) Deleterious alteration of the environment.

(3) "Toxin" means the toxic material of plants, animals, microorganisms, viruses, fungi, or infectious substances or a recombinant molecule, whatever its origin or method of reproduction, including, but not limited to, any of the following:

(a) Any poisonous substance or biological product that may be engineered through biotechnology and that is produced by a living organism;

(b) Any poisonous isomer or biological product, homolog, or derivative of any substance or product described in division (D)(3)(a) of this section.

(4) "Delivery system" means any of the following:

(a) Any apparatus, equipment, device, or means of delivery specifically designed to deliver or disseminate a biological agent, toxin, or vector;

(b) Any vector.

(5) "Vector" means a living organism or molecule, including a recombinant molecule or biological product that may be engineered through biotechnology, capable of carrying a biological agent or toxin to a host.

(6) "Weapon of mass destruction" has the same meaning as in section 2917.31 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 2917.33

History. Effective Date: 09-27-2002