Sheriff Urges Public to Seek Professional Training Following Passage of Constitutional Carry 

An Ohio Sheriff is urging the public to seek professional training following the passage of the state’s new constitutional carry law,  known as SB 215

In a Tuesday post on Facebook, Darke County Sheriff Mark E. Whittaker argued that even though the state no longer mandates professional training, one should still seek it out. 

“As your Sheriff, and a firearms owner, I am also an advocate of responsible and safe firearms handling,” wrote Whittaker.  “I continue to encourage all firearms owners, new or seasoned to consider attending firearms courses for safety and proficiency.”

Under the state’s shall-issue concealed carry standard, one is required to complete an 8-hour safety course to obtain a “Certificate of Competency” as part of the permitting process.

While Ohioans 21 and older can still apply for a permit to secure reciprocity rights with other states, they no longer need a permit to carry concealed under the new law which takes effect on June 13 of this year. 

“The Darke County Sheriff’s Office will continue to provide concealed handgun licensing to those who choose to obtain a license just as we have been for the last several years,” noted Whittaker.

“The benefit to obtaining an Ohio Concealed Handgun License would be the ability to carry a concealed handgun in other states which Ohio has reciprocity agreements.  A lack of a license may not permit you to carry in other states,” he said. 

SEE ALSO: Alabama, Ohio Become 22nd & 23rd State to Enact Constitutional Carry! 

In his post, sheriff Whittaker asked another favor of his constituents.  That they cooperate with law enforcement when it comes to disclosing whether they have a firearm on their person.  

Under the old law, during an interaction, the onus was on the citizen to tell the officer that he was armed.   SB 215 removed that requirement.  Now the citizen does not have to volunteer that information unless they are directly asked.    

“I would also ask that if you are carrying a weapon on you, and find yourself in an interaction with law enforcement, that you voluntarily inform the officer as soon as possible for everyone’s safety,” said Whittaker.  “Under the new law, if a law enforcement officer asks if you are carrying a handgun you must answer the officer truthfully.”

The sheriff ended by saying he hopes the expansion of carry rights in the Buckeye State helps to keep criminals in check.  

“It remains to be seen what impact the law will have on crime. I would like to believe that the criminals will think twice about committing crimes in Darke County, given the possibility that more people may be armed to protect themselves,” he said.  

“I will not be sympathetic to criminals who receive the wrong end of the gun when a law-abiding citizen is protecting themselves,” Whittaker concluded.  

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About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Ej harbet March 22, 2022, 8:09 am

    With liberty comes responsibility
    You can be trained responsible and competent or you should be held responsible if your incompetent actions harm others.either way liberty for you should exist. You decide.

  • etph March 20, 2022, 10:54 am

    Consider yourself blessed if you can carry without worrying about not having a permit. Some of us paid for CCW classes before applying, $300+ in places like L.A. County, and were denied deprive our clean record and good cause. I had a major incident in my home a year afterward and two minor ones a year later. I have a carry conceal gun that I prepared about 5 years ago but still don’t carry. I’m a caregiver for my aging mother and my father is approaching his 90s and still in good health. I can’t move so I will soon carry concealed after taking gun classes. The system literally makes criminals out of lawful citizens by denying them something that they require. I won’t be a victim. I’ll take my chances but I’ll be trained and prepared to demonstrate I’m doing everything on my part to be lawful citizen.

  • Mark Wynn March 18, 2022, 11:04 am

    Smart sheriff … would he like to run for president?

  • Edgar Watts March 18, 2022, 10:34 am

    I fully agree with the sheriff, get training, inform officers if carrying,and put hands on wheel if stopped

  • Comanche March 18, 2022, 10:27 am

    SOLID Advice from the sherif, not so much from some others, some just know it all!!!%
    Comanche out.

  • b carson March 18, 2022, 9:28 am

    I wish Sheriff Whittaker was my sheriff.

  • Tom Hart March 18, 2022, 9:25 am

    You don’t know what you don’t know till someone shows you what you don’t know.
    If you carry and you have not taken any training, you are part of the 1st sentence…

  • Not your business March 18, 2022, 9:14 am

    I would encourage this sheriff and the members of his department to do the same. Since the vast majority of cops CANNOT shoot. I would also encourage him and his department to seek more training in de-escalation and less fear-based training. So as to have more peaceful interactions with the general public. You know, since we’re providing professional advice and all.

    • Er March 18, 2022, 11:28 am

      “Vast majority of cops cannot shoot”
      “Seek more training in de-escalation and less fear based training”
      “More peaceful interactions with general public”
      Do you realize how ridiculous your statement is?
      The cops don’t shoot “General public”. When confronted with an idiot, most likely also armed and certainly not thinking clearly, they shoot to kill, very effectively, when provoked and guaranteed to have more training than you.

      • AR March 20, 2022, 10:24 am

        The tenor of your comment is EXACTLY what is wrong with people who blindly support the police. Blind allegiance. Bootlicking. The attitude that the police are always morally justified in their treatment of the people. The assumption that every person treated harshly by police was an “idiot” who got what he deserved.

        Bootlicking is what that is.

        Policing is far from perfect. Needs improvement. More respect for the people’s natural rights. Less nazism. Police have a limited benefit for public safety and order, beyond which they become (and are) a nuissance to the general public.

  • James Morrison March 18, 2022, 9:07 am

    I have taught many first time firearms owners over the years and many do not even know how to properly load and unload the firearm when first we meet. Zero safety knowledge, etc. Encouraging such training is quite sensible and will help insure that firearms ownership does not receive a bad reputation.

  • Muleskinner March 18, 2022, 7:28 am

    “In his post, sheriff Whittaker asked another favor of his constituents. That they cooperate with law enforcement when it comes to disclosing whether they have a firearm on their person.”

    How about asking criminals to do the same? Oh yeah, because they’re criminals and they already carry without a permit. Hypocrite!

    • Mark K March 18, 2022, 9:16 am

      Sorry, Muleskinner, I’m not with you on this one. I’m a supporter of the Second Amendment and I’m all for permitless carry. But as the law is, permitless carriers must follow the same rules those of us with licenses have had to follow about where and when and how we can carry. If someone with no knowledge of those rules puts a gun in their pocket and goes and violates the rules, they’ll get themselves in trouble — and worse yet, provide ammunition for the anti-gunners to use in their political arguments.

      You can say: well, there should be no limits or rules; but there are and until you can get them repealed, you’ve got to follow them or help the anti-gunners by becoming a lawbreaking statistic. Be sensible — get some training on the laws so that you can carry, without a permit, safely and legally.

    • Max March 18, 2022, 10:13 am

      Most of the public is better trained than the cops, who get couple of weeks of training per year.

    • Big Al 45 March 18, 2022, 12:25 pm

      Really?!? What an inane comment.

  • Ed March 18, 2022, 6:48 am

    This Sheriff is offering common sense advise to new gun owners. While the training is not mandatory I would recommend any new gun owner seek out training for their own safety and the safety of others. Along with rights goes responsibility and this Sheriff is helping the general populace to understand the responsibilities that go along with concealed carry. Kudo’s to you Sheriff Whittaker!

  • Blue Dog (він/його/supportUkraine) March 16, 2022, 2:24 pm

    What is wrong with a sheriff encouraging people to learn safe firearm handling or what legal obligations are on a possessor/owner/carrier of a firearm? This is all wonderfully common sense recommendation! So of course, many in this crowd will decry it as encroaching on their rights.

    • Thoughtful March 18, 2022, 7:54 am

      Nice try Dog Blue Him, in trying to smear “many in this crowd”. I really don’t think anyone will have a problem with the sheriff ENCOURAGING gun owners to get training. Any problem comes when the Sheriff MANDATES or REQUIRES such training for a citizen to exercise their 2A rights. Learning and training is really a common sense issue. Especially given the vast majority of license holding citizens are some of the most law abiding, sensible citizens today……Unlike the “Common Sense” gun restrictions you and your kind support.

    • D.J. March 18, 2022, 8:09 am

      Sir , you obviously have a very high opinion of “ this crowd “ .

      As I am certain they have a just as glowing opinion of you .

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