Constitutional Carry (SB215) Clears State Senate

Ohio, iStock-884221290

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)-  Ohio HB227 passed the Ohio House, 60 to 32, on November 23, 2021. Now, less than a month later, on December 15, the Senate passed a very similar bill. SB 215. From cleveland.com:

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Senate could vote as soon as Wednesday on legislation to allow people to carry a concealed handgun without a permit and no longer require them to notify law enforcement during proactively traffic stops that they’re armed.

Senate Bill 215 cleared a Senate committee on Tuesday after hours of testimony, mostly in opposition to the measure. The Republican-sponsored bill comes after the Ohio House passed similar legislation last month; should SB215 pass the Senate, it remains to be seen whether lawmakers would decide to send that bill or the House bill to Gov. Mike DeWine’s desk.

The Senate Constitutional Carry bill passed the Senate on December 15, 2021, 23 to 8, according to Buckeye Firearms.

There are now two Constitutional Carry different bills that have passed in Ohio. HB 227 in the House and SB 215 in the Senate.

Both laws restore the ability to carry a handgun loaded without a government permit, for most people over the age of 21.

  • SB 215 applies only to handguns, but knives are not considered to be deadly weapons unless they are actually used as deadly weapons, in Ohio, as of April 2021.  A knife law Preemption bill is on the way to the governor.
  • SB 215 eliminates the restriction on carrying loaded firearms in vessels, for most people.  So does HB 227, with a little different language.
  • SB 215 creates immunity from tort action (civil lawsuit) with a pre-trial immunity hearing.  Plaintiffs have to prove the force was *not* used in self-defense, defense of another or defense of the person’s residence.

Here is a summation of the effects of SB 215:

To amend sections 1547.69, 2307.601, 2901.05,2901.09, 2923.12, 2923.121, 2923.122, 2923.123,2923.126, 2923.128, 2923.16, and 2953.37 and to enact section 2923.111 of the Revised Code regarding a concealed handgun licensee’s duty to carry the license and notify a law enforcement officer if the licensee is carrying a concealed handgun, 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, and a pretrial immunity hearing.

Here are the sections creating a pre-trial immunity hearing for a criminal trial.

From  SB215:

(2) A person accused of an offense that involved the person’s use of force against another has a right to a pretrial immunity hearing, as described in division (B)(1) of this section, regarding a claim of immunity from criminal prosecution based on self-defense, defense of another, or defense of that person’s residence.

(B)(1) A person is accused of an offense that involved the person’s use of force against another who would like a pretrial immunity hearing as described in division(A)(2) of this section shall file a pretrial motion claiming that the person used the force in self-defense, defense of another, or defense of that person’s residence. The filing of the motion establishes a prima facie claim of self-defense, defense of another, or defense of that person’s residence. Upon the filing of motion, the court shall hold a pretrial immunity hearing and shall grant the motion and hold that the person used the force in self-defense, defense of another, or defense of that person’s residence, unless the state proves by proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the person did not use the force in self-defense, defense of another, or defense of that person’s residence, as the case maybe.

Both bills eliminate the requirement to inform police officers that you are armed. That portion of the law was abused in Connecticut, where a person with a pistol permit was assaulted because he informed officers he had the permit.

Both bills do much to restore the right to bear arms outside of the home. The bills have some variation in the manner they accomplish this objective. Either bill would be a significant restoration of rights. The legislature is likely to come up with a bill acceptable to both House and Senate. It could be either bill or a compromise bill.

To see all of the details of both bills, interested readers can go to the links provided.  It is difficult to be certain which bill would be better. There are many details in wording and amendments to other bills. On a quick read, SB 215 appears to provide more immunity; HB 227 appears to repeal more laws.

The easiest route to passage is for one house to accept the other’s bill, pass it, and send it on to the governor.

Ohio may become the sixth state to pass a Constitutional (permitless) carry bill in 2021.


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.

Dean Weingarten


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