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(a) No person shall knowingly possess an object in a school safety zone if both of the following apply:
(1) The object is indistinguishable from a firearm, whether or not the object is capable of being fired.
(2) The person indicates that the person possesses the object and that it is a firearm, or the person knowingly displays or brandishes the object and indicates that it is a firearm.
(b) Subsection (a) hereof does not apply to premises upon which home schooling is conducted. Subsection (a) hereof also does not apply to a school administrator, teacher, or employee who possesses an object that is indistinguishable from a firearm for legitimate school purposes during the course of employment, a student who uses an object that is indistinguishable from a firearm under the direction of a school administrator, teacher, or employee, or any other person who with the express prior approval of a school administrator possesses an object that is indistinguishable from a firearm for a legitimate purpose, including the use of the object in a ceremonial activity, a play, reenactment, or other dramatic presentation, or a ROTC activity or another similar use of the object.
(c) Whoever violates subsection (a) hereof is guilty of illegal possession of an object indistinguishable from a firearm in a school safety zone. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, illegal possession of an object indistinguishable from a firearm in a school safety zone is a misdemeanor of the first degree. If the offender previously has been convicted of a violation of Ohio R.C. 2923.122, illegal possession of an object indistinguishable from a firearm in a school safety zone is a felony and shall be prosecuted under appropriate State law.
(d) (1) In addition to any other penalty imposed upon a person who is convicted of or pleads guilty to a violation of this section and subject to subsection (d)(2) of this section, if the offender has not attained nineteen years of age, regardless of whether the offender is attending or is enrolled in a school operated by a board of education or for which the State Board of Education prescribes minimum standards under Ohio R.C. 3301.07, the court shall impose upon the offender a class four suspension of the offender’s probationary driver’s license, restricted license, driver’s license, commercial driver’s license, temporary instruction permit, or probationary commercial driver’s license that then is in effect from the range specified in division (A)(4) of Ohio R.C. 4510.02 and shall deny the offender the issuance of any permit or license of that type during the period of the suspension.
If the offender is not a resident of this State, the court shall impose a class four suspension of the nonresident operating privilege of the offender from the range specified in division (A)(4) of Ohio R.C. 4510.02.
(2) If the offender shows good cause why the court should not suspend one of the types of licenses, permits, or privileges specified in subsection (d)(1) of this section or deny the issuance of one of the temporary instruction permits specified in that subsection, the court in its discretion may choose not to impose the suspension, revocation, or denial required in that subsection, but the court, in its discretion, instead may require the offender to perform community service for a number of hours determined by the court.