U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- On October 28, the Ohio House Government Oversight Committee, after 5 hearings that started on April 15, voted to pass HB227 to the full House for a vote. HB227 is the Constitutional Carry bill in Ohio, and passed on a party-line, 8-4 vote, as reported by buckeyefirearms.org.
The bill changes Ohio law from dealing with concealed handguns to concealed weapons; it changes the law so that any non-prohibited person 21 years old or older can carry concealed weapons where people can carry with a permit, now. From HB227:
..a person who is twenty-one years of age or older and is not legally prohibited from possessing or receiving a firearm under any law of this state or the United States may carry a concealed deadly weapon that is not a restricted deadly weapon anywhere in this state. The person’s right to carry a concealed deadly weapon that is not a restricted deadly weapon that is granted under this division is the same right as is granted to a person who has been issued a concealed weapons license under section 2923.125 of the Revised Code, and the person described in this division is subject to the same restrictions as apply to a person who has been issued a concealed weapons license under section 2923.125 of the Revised Code.
(B) The mere carrying or possession of a deadly weapon that is not a restricted deadly weapon pursuant to the right described in division (A) of this section, with or without a concealed weapons license issued under section 2923.125 or 2923.1213 of the Revised Code or a concealed weapons license issued by another state, does not constitute grounds for any law enforcement officer or any agent of the state, a county, a municipal corporation, or a township to conduct any search, seizure, or detention, no matter how temporary in duration, of an otherwise law-abiding person.
The House bill is more comprehensive than the Senate bill.
The companion bill in the Senate, SB 215, had a second hearing on October fifth. Its provisions for permitless carry are very similar to the House bill. From the Senate version of the bill.
Notwithstanding any other Revised Code section to the contrary:
(1) A person who is a qualifying adult shall not be required to obtain a concealed handgun license in order to carry in this state, under authority of division (B)(2) of this section, a concealed handgun that is not a restricted firearm.
(2) Regardless of whether the person has been issued a concealed handgun license, subject to the limitations specified in divisions (B)(3) and (D)(2) of this section, a person who is a qualifying adult may carry a concealed handgun that is not a restricted firearm anywhere in this state in which a person who has been issued a concealed handgun license may carry a concealed handgun.
(3) The right of a person who is a qualifying adult to carry a concealed handgun that is not a restricted firearm that is granted under divisions (B)(1) and (2) of this section is the same right as is granted to a person who has been issued a concealed handgun license, and a qualifying adult who is granted the right is subject to the same restrictions as apply to a person who has been issued a concealed handgun license.(C) The mere carrying or possession of a handgun that is not a restricted firearm pursuant to the right described in divisions (B)(1) and (2) of this section, with or without a concealed handgun license, does not constitute grounds for any law enforcement officer or any agent of the state, a county, a municipal corporation, or a township to conduct any search, seizure, or detention, no matter how temporary in duration, of an otherwise law-abiding person.
The future of permitless or Constitutional carry in Ohio is uncertain. Ohio has a supermajority of Republicans in the House, 64 to 35. In the Senate, they have more than a supermajority, 25 to 8. The legislature overrode Governor DeWine’s veto of SB 22, which reformed and decreased the governor’s emergency powers on March 24, 2021. In Ohio, it takes 60%, 3/5 of each house to override a veto. That is 60 votes in the House, and 20 in the Senate.
Governor DeWine has not stated if he would sign or veto a permitless carry bill. With a general resistance to governmental and federal overreach rising in the population, Governor DeWine may feel compelled to sign a bill to show his willingness to protect the individual from the government.
The passage of Constitutional (permitless) carry in Texas created a momentum of legitimacy for Constitutional carry. With 21 states now having permitless carry, and another 17 having permitless carry for open carry, the lack of any measurable bad consequences makes permitless carry difficult to argue against. Here is an example, from the testimony of Shannon Gallagher:
We oppose permitless carry because it takes away personal responsibility—
Law enforcement experts, gun instructors, and military personnel overwhelmingly agree that people who carry concealed weapons in public should take firearm training, including live-fire training. Permitless carry strips law enforcement of this authority, forcing them to allow people with violent criminal histories to carry concealed guns throughout the state
This bill goes against our values in Ohio, disregarding the devastating consequences of gun violence to our communities, shown by Ohio’s alarming rates of gun injury and death.
Opponents are reduced to generic “guns are bad” arguments. Those arguments are undercut by the experience of the United States over the last 30 years.
When government excesses are being highlighted, reforms that might otherwise be ignored, have better chances of passage.
This correspondent will not be surprised if Constitutional carry passes in Ohio this year.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.