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Landlord considerations for firearms liability

Incidents with guns routinely make the headlines. Sometimes, mass shootings and similar incidents are intentional. More often, however, firearms injuries stem from accidents. In a time when every state has concealed carry laws, a commercial landlord or business owner in Ohio may need to be more aware of what might happen if an incident involving a firearm occurs on their property.

One of the most vital considerations will be a landlord’s liability for damages if an incident occurs. Payouts for personal injury or property damage due to shootings could easily bankrupt a small business or individual. The good news is that in many cases, Ohio statutes release the landowner from liability unless the owner is deemed to have had a malicious intent. A landlord may also post a sign prohibiting firearms on the premises, and these prohibitions would apply to concealed carry in most instances.

A landlord will also want to be well-informed of the particulars of local laws that may impact their ability to prohibit firearms. Local laws may be different or more strict than state laws. In addition to understanding the law, the landlord will want to have a thorough understanding of their insurance policy. Even considering the protections of the law, it may still be a good idea to have some coverage for firearms incidents included in an insurance policy. A landlord should never assume that such coverages are automatically included in a policy.

Understanding the particulars of premises liability can be difficult for many landlords and business owners. An attorney could help a client understand these laws. In the case of a lawsuit due to a firearms incident, representation by an attorney may also be important.