The Ohio Senate “concurred with changes” Wednesday made to Senate Bill 215 which will allow law-abiding adults to carry a concealed handgun without obtaining a permit in areas where concealed carry is currently exercised, according to a press release by the Ohio Senate.
The bill, sponsored by State Senator Terry Johnson (R-McDermott), would make Ohio the 22nd state to allow permitless concealed carry.
According to the bill’s analysis, the legislation “provides that a person who is a “qualifying adult” is not required to obtain a concealed handgun license in order to carry a concealed handgun that is not a “restricted firearm.”
The bill defines “qualifying adult” as a “person who is 21 years of age or older, is not legally prohibited from possessing or receiving a firearm under specified federal or state law, and satisfies certain specified criteria necessary to obtain a concealed handgun license.”
A “restricted firearm” as defined in the bill is “a firearm that is a dangerous ordnance or that is a firearm that any law of this state prohibits the person from possessing, having, or carrying.”
“The open carry of firearms is already legal in Ohio, however once an individual were to put on a sweatshirt or jacket without a concealed carry permit, they would be in violation of the law. Responsible gun owners should not be punished for lawfully practicing their constitutional rights,” State Senator Johnson said in a statement.
The bill also modifies the current requirement for individuals to notify law enforcement during traffic stops that they are armed, the press release notes. Individuals would still need to answer truthfully if asked by law enforcement.
The bill is now on its way to Governor DeWine’s desk. According to WBNS, Dan Tierney, a spokesman for DeWine, said his office is reviewing the bill, but “would note Governor DeWine has long supported the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms,” indicating the governor is likely to sign the bill into law.
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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network.
Photo “Open Carry” by Lucio Eastman. CC BY 2.0.