Ohio is poised to become the 22nd state to recognize one’s right to keep and bear arms the way the founders and framers intended.
Senate Bill 215, a constitutional carry bill, cleared both chambers this week, 57-35 in the House, and 24-8 in the Senate.
Per Journal-News, the bill has three provisions:
- A person at least 21 years old who is otherwise legally allowed to have a gun can carry it concealed without a permit, without having to take the now-required eight hours of gun safety training.
- Holders of a current concealed-carry permit no longer have to carry that license with them.
- If stopped by police, a person with a concealed weapon no longer has to tell officers about it unless they’re specifically asked.
“We are at a historic moment in Ohio legislative history,” said the Buckeye Firearms Association, one of the pro-gun groups that backed the bill.
“This is the closest we’ve ever been to passing a bill to make the licensing process optional for concealed carry of a firearm,” continued BFA. “Bills have been presented in former legislative sessions, but have not advanced.”
However, not every gun owner in the Buckeye State is thrilled with the news. Firearms instructor Kim Rodecker objected to it, arguing that mandatory training prevents accidents and saves lives.
“It’s like if you have a 16-year-old who wants to learn how to drive. Would you just throw him the keys and the book, and say, here, go teach yourself? It’s just as stupid,” he said.
“I have trained so many people that they wouldn’t take the class if they don’t have to. They’d make a mistake and that mistake could cost somebody their life,” he added.
But extensive research looking at rates of violent crime, police killings, and firearm homicide in the aftermath of the passage of constitutional carry laws, conducted by the Crime Research Prevention Center, indicates there were no statistically significant changes to any category. Moreover, the murder rate actually dropped.
Critics of permitless carry may argue that the issue still warrants further examination, particularly as it relates to accidental shootings and instances of negligent discharge, but the notion that SB 215 will be an existential danger to public safety is nonsense.
“It’s outrageous and frustrating that our lawmakers are ignoring law enforcement’s vocal opposition to permitless carry and continue to push through this dangerous bill,” Kristine Woodworth, a volunteer with Moms Demand Action in Ohio, said in a press release.
“Gutting permitting requirements will put our communities, and the people whose job it is to keep us safe, in danger,” she insisted.
Again, this is nonsense. As Dean Rieck BFA’s Executive Director explained, “What we’re trying to do is allow Ohioans to exercise their constitutional rights without that burden… No other constitutional right requires you to jump through that many hoops.”
“This is not a novel concept,” he added. “Those states haven’t had any big problems with this. We don’t think Ohio is going to have any problems either.”
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine will now have the option to sign or veto SB 215. Stay tuned for updates!