The Ohio Senate on Wednesday approved a measure that will allow an individual to carry a concealed handgun without obtaining a concealed carry permit, also known as “constitutional carry.”
Specifically, Senate Bill 215, introduced by Senator Terry Johnson (R-McDermott), permits any individual aged 21 or over to carry the concealed firearm, making the class and license an optional decision for the state’s residents.
Supporters of the legislation argue that the bill will remove barriers for law-abiding gun owners.
“Ohioans have proven themselves to be overwhelmingly law-abiding over the past 17 years since concealed carry became law,” said Dean Rieck, Buckeye Firearms Association executive director, when Johnson introduced the legislation. “And Ohio is ready to join the 21 other states that now permit concealed carry without a license.”
The Ohio House of Representatives passed a similar measure last month.
House Bill 227, sponsored by Representative Thomas Brinkman (R-Mt. Lookout), will also make Ohio’s concealed handgun license system optional.
The legislation, which passed the House on a 60 to 32 vote, will also mandate an individual notify a police officer if the person is carrying a concealed handgun when asked by the officer.
“Regulations and restrictions currently in place are not stopping violent crime, and only serve as barriers for law-abiding citizens who are trying to possess and carry weapons for self-defense, and for the defense of their loved ones,” said Brinkman. “House Bill 227 is about supporting the constitutional rights and freedoms of law-abiding citizens, and I’m proud to see this bill passing the House.”
If either bill is fully enacted, Ohio would join multiple other states that have passed similar legislation. Earlier this year, Tennessee joined dozens of states in approving the measure.
“The Second Amendment is clear and concise and secures the freedoms of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Lee. “I am pleased to announce Constitutional Carry legislation today that will protect the Second Amendment rights of Tennesseans, while also stiffening penalties on criminals who steal or illegally possess firearms.”
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