Ohio is one step closer to passing what is colloquially known as Constitutional Carry, the right for the state’s residents to carry concealed firearms without a permit.
HB 227 passed through the House Oversight Committee late last week, and is headed to a full vote on the Republican-dominated House floor.
Co-sponsored by State Reps. Tom Brinker (R-Cincinnati) and Kris Jordan (R-Ostrander) the bill’s summary says it would “allow a person age 21 or older to carry a concealed deadly weapon without a license.”
The bill does not ban licensure, but rather makes it optional. Such licensure would allow licensees reciprocity with other concealed carry states that do require licensure.
It also eliminates the term “handgun license,” and changes it to “weapons license,” a move that would make it legal to “carry concealed all deadly weapons not otherwise prohibited by law.”
HB 227 also removes the requirement of disclosing that a concealed weapons carrier is in possession of a concealed weapon if stopped by police for law enforcement purposes. Right now, Ohio residents are required to “promptly” inform police if they are carrying a concealed weapon.
All such convictions for not notifying law enforcement of a concealed weapon would also be expunged under the bill.
HB 227 has a counterpart that is also making its way through the Ohio Senate.
State Sen. Terry Johnson (R-District 14) introduced SB 215, which declares “a right of a person age twenty-one or older and not legally prohibited from firearm possession to carry a concealed handgun in the same manner as if the person was a licensee.”
It has been referred to the Senate Veterans and Public Safety Committee.
Like the Ohio House, the Ohio Senate is also controlled by Republicans, paving the way for Constitutional Carry to become the law of the land.
There are currently 21 Constitutional Carry states in America.
The reconciled law would have to be signed by Gov. Mike DeWine (R), who has signaled some support for Second Amendment causes.
In January, he signed into law a bill eliminating the duty to retreat before using deadly force. Republicans nationwide are pushing for similar “Stand Your Ground” laws.
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