130th Ohio General Assembly
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H. B. No. 328  As Introduced
As Introduced

129th General Assembly
Regular Session
2011-2012
H. B. No. 328


Representative Uecker 

Cosponsors: Representatives Boose, Beck, Adams, J., Dovilla, Maag 



A BILL
To amend section 2923.129 of the Revised Code to modify the journalist exception to the provision that makes concealed handgun license records confidential.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1.  That section 2923.129 of the Revised Code be amended to read as follows:
Sec. 2923.129. (A)(1) If a sheriff, the superintendent of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation, the employees of the bureau, the Ohio peace officer training commission, or the employees of the commission make a good faith effort in performing the duties imposed upon the sheriff, the superintendent, the bureau's employees, the commission, or the commission's employees by sections 109.731, 311.41, and 2923.124 to 2923.1213 of the Revised Code, in addition to the personal immunity provided by section 9.86 of the Revised Code or division (A)(6) of section 2744.03 of the Revised Code and the governmental immunity of sections 2744.02 and 2744.03 of the Revised Code and in addition to any other immunity possessed by the bureau, the commission, and their employees, the sheriff, the sheriff's office, the county in which the sheriff has jurisdiction, the bureau, the superintendent of the bureau, the bureau's employees, the commission, and the commission's employees are immune from liability in a civil action for injury, death, or loss to person or property that allegedly was caused by or related to any of the following:
(a) The issuance, renewal, suspension, or revocation of a license to carry a concealed handgun or the issuance, suspension, or revocation of a temporary emergency license to carry a concealed handgun;
(b) The failure to issue, renew, suspend, or revoke a license to carry a concealed handgun or the failure to issue, suspend, or revoke a temporary emergency license to carry a concealed handgun;
(c) Any action or misconduct with a handgun committed by a licensee.
(2) Any action of a sheriff relating to the issuance, renewal, suspension, or revocation of a license to carry a concealed handgun or the issuance, suspension, or revocation of a temporary emergency license to carry a concealed handgun shall be considered to be a governmental function for purposes of Chapter 2744. of the Revised Code.
(3) An entity that or instructor who provides a competency certification of a type described in division (B)(3) of section 2923.125 of the Revised Code is immune from civil liability that might otherwise be incurred or imposed for any death or any injury or loss to person or property that is caused by or related to a person to whom the entity or instructor has issued the competency certificate if all of the following apply:
(a) The alleged liability of the entity or instructor relates to the training provided in the course, class, or program covered by the competency certificate.
(b) The entity or instructor makes a good faith effort in determining whether the person has satisfactorily completed the course, class, or program and makes a good faith effort in assessing the person in the competency examination conducted pursuant to division (G)(2) of section 2923.125 of the Revised Code.
(c) The entity or instructor did not issue the competency certificate with malicious purpose, in bad faith, or in a wanton or reckless manner.
(4) An entity that or instructor who provides a renewed competency certification of a type described in division (G)(4) of section 2923.125 of the Revised Code is immune from civil liability that might otherwise be incurred or imposed for any death or any injury or loss to person or property that is caused by or related to a person to whom the entity or instructor has issued the renewed competency certificate if all of the following apply:
(a) The entity or instructor makes a good faith effort in assessing the person in the physical demonstrations or the competency examination conducted pursuant to division (G)(4) of section 2923.125 of the Revised Code.
(b) The entity or instructor did not issue the renewed competency certificate with malicious purpose, in bad faith, or in a wanton or reckless manner.
(5) A law enforcement agency that employs a peace officer is immune from liability in a civil action to recover damages for injury, death, or loss to person or property allegedly caused by any act of that peace officer if the act occurred while the peace officer carried a concealed handgun and was off duty and if the act allegedly involved the peace officer's use of the concealed handgun. Sections 9.86 and 9.87, and Chapter 2744., of the Revised Code apply to any civil action involving a peace officer's use of a concealed handgun in the performance of the peace officer's official duties while the peace officer is off duty.
(B)(1) Notwithstanding section 149.43 of the Revised Code, except as provided in division (B)(2) of this section, the records that a sheriff keeps relative to the issuance, renewal, suspension, or revocation of a license to carry a concealed handgun or the issuance, suspension, or revocation of a temporary emergency license to carry a concealed handgun, including, but not limited to, completed applications for the issuance or renewal of a license, completed affidavits submitted regarding an application for a temporary emergency license, reports of criminal records checks and incompetency records checks under section 311.41 of the Revised Code, and applicants' social security numbers and fingerprints that are obtained under division (A) of section 311.41 of the Revised Code, are confidential and are not public records. Except as provided in division (B)(2) of this section, no person shall release or otherwise disseminate records that are confidential under this division unless required to do so pursuant to a court order.
(2)(a) A On or after the effective date of this amendment, a journalist, on or after April 8, 2004, may submit to a sheriff a signed, written request to view the file a complaint in a court of common pleas requesting the issuance of an order authorizing the journalist to view either or both of the following:
(i) The name, county of residence, and date of birth of each person to whom the sheriff of the county served by the court has issued a license or replacement license to carry a concealed handgun, renewed a license to carry a concealed handgun, or issued a temporary emergency license or replacement temporary emergency license to carry a concealed handgun under section 2923.125 or 2923.1213 of the Revised Code, or a signed, written request to view the;
(ii) The name, county of residence, and date of birth of each person for whom the sheriff of the county served by the court has suspended or revoked a license to carry a concealed handgun or a temporary emergency license to carry a concealed handgun under section 2923.128 of the Revised Code. The request
(b) A complaint filed under division (B)(2)(a) of this section shall include the journalist's name and title, shall include the name and address of the journalist's employer, and shall state that disclosure of the information sought would be in the public interest. If a journalist submits a signed, written request to the sheriff to view the information described in this division, the sheriff shall grant the journalist's request. The Upon the filing of a complaint under division (B)(2)(a) of this section, the court shall schedule a hearing. The hearing shall be held at the earliest possible time but not later than the fourteenth business day after the complaint is filed. Upon scheduling the hearing, the court shall notify the journalist of the date, time, and place of the hearing and shall cause notice of the hearing to be made by publication in accordance with this division. The notice by publication shall be made by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county served by the court. If no newspaper of general circulation is published in that county, the publication shall be in a newspaper published in an adjoining county. The publication shall contain the name and address of the court, the case number, the name of the journalist who filed the complaint, and the date, time, place, and purpose of the hearing. The publication also shall specify that the court may permit any interested person or organization to present testimony or evidence in opposition to the requested release of the information in question. The publication shall be published at least three times before the date of the hearing. The journalist who filed the complaint shall pay all costs of the notice by publication.
At a hearing scheduled and held under this division, the journalist who filed the complaint may present testimony or evidence in support of the requested release of the information in question. The court may permit any interested person or organization to present testimony or evidence in opposition to the requested release of the information in question. The court shall keep a record of all testimony and other oral proceedings and of all evidence presented in the case. The court shall enter judgment on the complaint not later than the seventh business day after the day on which the hearing is held.
(c) If a court that holds a hearing under division (B)(2)(b) of this section determines that the release of the information identified in the complaint is in the public interest, the court shall enter judgment and an order authorizing the journalist to view that information. The order shall direct the sheriff to permit the journalist to view the information, subject to the restriction specified in this division. Upon presentation of the order to the sheriff, the sheriff shall permit the journalist to view the information specified in the order, but the journalist shall not copy the name, county of residence, or date of birth of each person to or for whom the sheriff has issued, suspended, or revoked a license described in this division (B)(2)(a)(i) or (ii) of this section.
If a court that holds a hearing under division (B)(2)(b) of this section does not determine that the release of the information identified in the complaint is in the public interest, the court shall enter judgment denying the request of the journalist to view that information. The journalist may appeal the judgment, as a matter of right, to the court of appeals. The court that enters the judgment shall inform the journalist of the right to appeal.
(b)(d) As used in division (B)(2) of this section, "journalist" means a person engaged in, connected with, or employed by any news medium, including a newspaper, magazine, press association, news agency, or wire service, a radio or television station, or a similar medium, for the purpose of gathering, processing, transmitting, compiling, editing, or disseminating information for the general public.
(C) Each sheriff shall report to the Ohio peace officer training commission the number of licenses to carry a concealed handgun that the sheriff issued, renewed, suspended, revoked, or denied during the previous quarter of the calendar year, the number of applications for those licenses for which processing was suspended in accordance with division (D)(3) of section 2923.125 of the Revised Code during the previous quarter of the calendar year, and the number of temporary emergency licenses to carry a concealed handgun that the sheriff issued, suspended, revoked, or denied during the previous quarter of the calendar year. The sheriff shall not include in the report the name or any other identifying information of an applicant or licensee. The sheriff shall report that information in a manner that permits the commission to maintain the statistics described in division (D) of section 109.731 of the Revised Code and to timely prepare the statistical report described in that division. The information that is received by the commission under this division is a public record kept by the commission for the purposes of section 149.43 of the Revised Code.
(D) Law enforcement agencies may use the information a sheriff makes available through the use of the law enforcement automated data system pursuant to division (H) of section 2923.125 or division (B)(2) or (D) of section 2923.1213 of the Revised Code for law enforcement purposes only. The information is confidential and is not a public record. A person who releases or otherwise disseminates this information obtained through the law enforcement automated data system in a manner not described in this division is guilty of a violation of section 2913.04 of the Revised Code.
(E) Whoever violates division (B) of this section is guilty of illegal release of confidential concealed handgun license records, a felony of the fifth degree. In addition to any penalties imposed under Chapter 2929. of the Revised Code for a violation of division (B) of this section or a violation of section 2913.04 of the Revised Code described in division (D) of this section, if the offender is a sheriff, an employee of a sheriff, or any other public officer or employee, and if the violation was willful and deliberate, the offender shall be subject to a civil fine of one thousand dollars. Any person who is harmed by a violation of division (B) or (C) of this section or a violation of section 2913.04 of the Revised Code described in division (D) of this section has a private cause of action against the offender for any injury, death, or loss to person or property that is a proximate result of the violation and may recover court costs and attorney's fees related to the action.
Section 2.  That existing section 2923.129 of the Revised Code is hereby repealed.
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