Two men ended up in the Franklin County jail after they were found to be transporting firearms improperly and concealing them during recent traffic stops, according to the New Albany Police Department.
A 35-year-old Columbus man was stopped at 9:01 p.m. March 17 at state Route 161 and Johnstown Road.
The man had a handgun and ammunition in the passenger compartment within his reach, according to the police report.
One day later, officers recovered a handgun after stopping a 23-year-old Newark man at 4:12 p.m. March 18, also at Route 161 and Johnstown Road.
Both men were charged with improper handling of firearms in a motor vehicle and carrying concealed weapons. They were arrested and taken to the Franklin County jail.
Neither man had a concealed-handgun license, said Sgt. Kris Daniels.
Outside law-enforcement officers and others with special permission, only concealed-carry license holders can possess loaded or concealed handguns in a vehicle, per Ohio law. All others must transport firearms unloaded, which means the gun has no ammunition in the chamber and no loaded magazines or speed loaders inserted into it, according to section 2923.16 of the Ohio Revised Code.
Unloaded firearms must be in a closed package, box or case; a compartment that could be reached only by leaving the vehicle; or in plain sight with the action open if it's a long gun, according to section 2923.16.
If loaded gun magazines or ammunition that could be used in the gun are in the vehicle, they must be "stored in a compartment within the vehicle in question that cannot be accessed without leaving the vehicle or ... stored in a container that provides complete and separate enclosure," according to section 2923.16.
The easiest solution for drivers without a concealed-handgun license, Daniels said, is to secure the unloaded weapon in a lock box or case in the trunk and store the ammunition in the glove compartment.
"That's the safest way that we tell people you will not get in trouble," he said.
In other recent New Albany police incident reports:
* A 43-year-old Columbus woman was arrested at 1:20 a.m. March 18 in the first block of West Dublin-Granville Road for being in physical control of a vehicle while under the influence.
* A 22-year-old Columbus man was cited for failing to display a front license plate, having window tint, driving under suspension and possession of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia after a traffic stop at 11:46 a.m. March 17 at Johnstown and Smith's Mill roads.
* A 16-year-old Ashville woman and a 22-year-old Columbus man were cited for drug abuse, controlled-substance possession or use and drug paraphernalia after a traffic stop at 12:48 a.m. March 17 at Johnstown Road and Forest Drive.
* A Newark man was cited for drug paraphernalia, drug abuse and controlled-substance possession or use after police found loose marijuana and drug paraphernalia during a traffic stop at 12:49 a.m. March 15 at state Route 161 and Babbitt Road.