Ohio Supreme Court rejects expansion of concealed-deadly-weapon law

In re J.T., No. 2015-Ohio-3654 (Ohio Sept. 10, 2015).

Ohio law makes it a crime for somebody to knowingly carry a concealed deadly weapon. J.T., a juvenile, was charged with delinquency for carrying a gun tucked into his waistband. This gun no longer worked. J.T. couldn’t have used it to shoot anyone. 

According to the State, though, the inoperable gun was a deadly weapon because J.T. could have pistol-whipped a victim with it. The Ohio Supreme Court responds that there was no evidence that J.T. was using it (or planning to use it) as a bludgeon. The concealed-deadly-weapon law doesn’t make it a crime to carry around something that could conceivably be used as a bludgeon. Your smartphone could also be used as a bludgeon—are you a criminal for putting it in your back pocket? Not in Ohio, at least.