Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ohio House Passes Senate Companion Bill to Strengthen, Restore Concealed Carry Rights

COLUMBUS—The Ohio House of Representatives today passed the Senate companion legislation to amend Ohio’s concealed carry laws to make them simpler and consistent with other states.

Senate Bill 17 will simplify the provisions related to the carrying of firearms in vehicles by eliminating the “micromanaging” provisions that dictate where a gun must be stored in a vehicle, which allows law-abiding citizens to avoid accidental violations. It retains the current procedures that are followed when a licensee is pulled over and approached by a law enforcement official.

The legislation would also permit license holders to carry in establishments that serve alcohol provided that the individual is not consuming alcohol. It does not change the current law prohibiting an individual from possessing a firearm while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Establishments would still have the authority to prohibit concealed carry.

“I’m very pleased to see the passage of Senate Bill 17 from the House,” said Rep. Terry Johnson (R-McDermott), who jointly sponsored the House companion bill—House Bill 45—with Rep. Danny Bubp (R-West Union). “At a time when our Constitutional rights are being quietly and systematically eroded, it is vital that we restore these rights and safeguard our ability to protect our families.”

In addition to simplifying existing concealed carry laws, House Bill 45 and Senate Bill 17 will bring Ohio’s carry regulations in line with most other states’ regulations. According to the Buckeye Firearms Association, of the 48 states that issue concealed carry licenses, 42 allow licensees to carry in restaurants as long as they are not drinking.

“Law-abiding citizens have a constitutional right to bear arms and protect themselves, yet Ohio’s laws about this issue can be confusing, especially when determining where you can carry and where you cannot,” Rep. Bubp said. “This legislation will simplify our laws and keep people from unknowingly committing a crime.”

This legislation was originally introduced during the previous General Assembly as Senate Bill 239, which received the support of the National Rifle Association, the Buckeye Firearms Association and Ohioans for Concealed Carry.

Senate Bill 17 passed with bipartisan support and will now move to Governor Kasich for his signature.