2923.121 Possession of firearm in beer liquor permit premises - prohibition, exceptions.

(A) No person shall possess a firearm in any room in which any person is consuming beer or intoxicating liquor in a premises for which a D permit has been issued under Chapter 4303. of the Revised Code or in an open air arena for which a permit of that nature has been issued.

(B)

(1) This section does not apply to any of the following:

(a) An officer, agent, or employee of this or any other state or the United States, or to a law enforcement officer, who is authorized to carry firearms and is acting within the scope of the officer's, agent's, or employee's duties;

(b) Any person who is employed in this state, who is authorized to carry firearms, and who is subject to and in compliance with the requirements of section 109.801 of the Revised Code, unless the appointing authority of the person has expressly specified that the exemption provided in division (B)(1)(b) of this section does not apply to the person;

(c) Any room used for the accommodation of guests of a hotel, as defined in section 4301.01 of the Revised Code;

(d) The principal holder of a D permit issued for a premises or an open air arena under Chapter 4303. of the Revised Code while in the premises or open air arena for which the permit was issued if the principal holder of the D permit also possesses a valid concealed handgun license and as long as the principal holder is not consuming beer or intoxicating liquor or under the influence of alcohol or a drug of abuse, or any agent or employee of that holder who also is a peace officer, as defined in section 2151.3515 of the Revised Code, who is off duty, and who otherwise is authorized to carry firearms while in the course of the officer's official duties and while in the premises or open air arena for which the permit was issued and as long as the agent or employee of that holder is not consuming beer or intoxicating liquor or under the influence of alcohol or a drug of abuse.

(e) Any person who is carrying a valid concealed handgun license, as long as the person is not consuming beer or intoxicating liquor or under the influence of alcohol or a drug of abuse.

(2) This section does not prohibit any person who is a member of a veteran's organization, as defined in section 2915.01 of the Revised Code, from possessing a rifle in any room in any premises owned, leased, or otherwise under the control of the veteran's organization, if the rifle is not loaded with live ammunition and if the person otherwise is not prohibited by law from having the rifle.

(3) This section does not apply to any person possessing or displaying firearms in any room used to exhibit unloaded firearms for sale or trade in a soldiers' memorial established pursuant to Chapter 345. of the Revised Code, in a convention center, or in any other public meeting place, if the person is an exhibitor, trader, purchaser, or seller of firearms and is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing, trading, purchasing, or selling the firearms.

(C) It is an affirmative defense to a charge under this section of illegal possession of a firearm in a liquor permit premises that involves the possession of a firearm other than a handgun, that the actor was not otherwise prohibited by law from having the firearm, and that any of the following apply:

(1) The firearm was carried or kept ready at hand by the actor for defensive purposes, while the actor was engaged in or was going to or from the actor's lawful business or occupation, which business or occupation was of such character or was necessarily carried on in such manner or at such a time or place as to render the actor particularly susceptible to criminal attack, such as would justify a prudent person in going armed.

(2) The firearm was carried or kept ready at hand by the actor for defensive purposes, while the actor was engaged in a lawful activity, and had reasonable cause to fear a criminal attack upon the actor or a member of the actor's family, or upon the actor's home, such as would justify a prudent person in going armed.

(D) No person who is charged with a violation of this section shall be required to obtain a concealed handgun license as a condition for the dismissal of the charge.

(E) Whoever violates this section is guilty of illegal possession of a firearm in a liquor permit premises. Except as otherwise provided in this division, illegal possession of a firearm in a liquor permit premises is a felony of the fifth degree. If the offender commits the violation of this section by knowingly carrying or having the firearm concealed on the offender's person or concealed ready at hand, illegal possession of a firearm in a liquor permit premises is a felony of the third degree.

(F) As used in this section, "beer" and "intoxicating liquor" have the same meanings as in section 4301.01 of the Revised Code.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.190, HB 495, §1, eff. 3/27/2013.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.34, SB 17, §1, eff. 9/30/2011.

Effective Date: 04-08-2004; 03-14-2007; 2008 SB184 09-09-2008