Dewine Must Choose Sides with Ohio Permitless Carry Bill

Will Dewine side with citizens demanding their right to uninfringed carry or with the police groups that oppose it? (Governor Mike Dewine/Facebook)

U.S.A. – -( “Ohio Senate passes concealed carry bill over objections of law enforcement groups,” Fox 19 reported Wednesday. “Opponents, including the Ohio FOP, argue the bill hamstrings law enforcement and makes Ohioans less safe.”

“The bill makes concealed carry licenses optional—thereby removing background checks and training minimums—for those 21 and over who wish to carry a firearm,” the report elaborates. “The bill also eliminates the requirement that Ohioans promptly notify law enforcement officers during a traffic stop if they have a concealed weapon.”

While some may be inclined to ask, “Why not 18?” for now they may want to take a potential “win.” The antis know how to advance in increments and the loss to them, if this is signed into law, will be significant. But it does illustrate why I call it “permitless carry” instead of “Constitutional”—it’s not like “gun-free zone,” and “prohibited person,” and other restrictions don’t still apply.

“Now, for the first time in history, there are two Constitutional Carry bills that BOTH PASSED their originating chamber,” Gun Owners of America advises, noting the similar House bill that passed. “This means we now have TWO CHANCES at getting Constitutional Carry in Ohio. And since both chambers have now shown they support this legislation, it should not be difficult to get one chamber to fully pass and send the other chamber’s bill to Governor DeWine.”

The Senate vote was almost along straight party lines, with all Republicans but one voting for the bill, and all Democrats voting against it. The one GOP turncoat was Jerry Cirino – and an endorsement from The Cleveland Plain Dealer should have been all the warning sign anyone needed. One can only wonder what whoppers he must have told to also get endorsed by the National Rifle Association and its state affiliate, the Buckeye Firearms Association.

Naturally, Cirino’s covering for his betrayal by claiming to be “a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment” and then showing everyone how big his “but” is. He resorts to all the tired and disingenuous talking points used by “Only Ones” and antis to swindle citizens who don’t know any better out of their rights, like the police state apologist who supports him with the assertion:

“I guess these commenters really don’t back the blue like they claim to.”

Actually, useful idiot, “the blue,” which says it’s there “to serve and protect” and takes an oath to support the Constitution, is supposed to back us.

Cirino has left himself open though when he claims to “have spoken with numerous constituents (including Second Amendment advocates…” who agree with him.

Fine. Who are they? If they’re voices of influence — and they must be if they have access and could persuade him that infringements on the right to bear arms are proper and desirable — then we deserve to know, if for no other reason than to let the gun advocacy community know who they are to see if their voices are still worth heeding. I’m not holding my breath waiting for an answer to my question.

As for accepting the “law enforcement” arguments, it’s no surprise that the Fraternal Order of Police wants to hold its power over the rights of the citizens who employ them. When it came to the Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act, FOP was all for nationwide concealed carry for cops. When it became our turn, FOP then turned around and opposed  the “Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which would allow any civilian concealed carry permit holder to travel to any other State issuing concealed carry permits…”

Their excuses are garbage, too. It will still be illegal for “prohibited” criminals to carry guns — as if any bill will change the fact that they still do because they’re criminals. As for cops not knowing the good from the bad, that not only goes with the job, it goes with life. Besides, we’ve seen what happens when citizens try to reveal they’re lawfully armed to the wrong cop:

We’ve also seen another reason some LE officials are resistant, one that has nothing to do with public safety and everything to do with the equivalent of a poll tax, as this example from Alabama shows:

“He said without the permits, which cost $20 per year, there would be no way to monitor the background of someone purchasing guns.”

Would someone care to explain NICS to this guy?

But back to the Ohio bills: Dewine has been a back-and-forth mixed bag throughout his political career, alternatively praised as a “principled statesman” by the Brady Campaign then becoming a “convert” to the NRA side of the aisle. That is until he started making noises about “a 17-point plan to address gun violence—one of them is a red flag law” following a mass shooting in Dayton by a socialist “gun control” supporter.

“He famously threatened to veto Stand Your Ground legislation if the legislature passed it. But, in the end, he backed down and reluctantly signed it,” recalled. “Would he promise to do the same with constitutional carry? He hasn’t tipped his hand yet, but if I were betting, the better play is that he would veto the legislation.”

For his part:

“DeWine won’t say whether he’d sign a bill allowing for permitless concealed carry with no required training, saying only that he wants to see how it’s written.”

That’s a lie. He doesn’t have internet?  All he has to do to see what the bills say is read them off the legislature websites. You know his aides/advisors already have. And it’s telling that no reporter countered such a transparently disingenuous excuse with that observation. There’s no reason why he couldn’t have made a decision last week except that he’s weighing the potential political fallout.

If he does work up the guts to chicken out – and for Dewine that’s actually not a contradiction in terms –  the legislature still has override options.

If he vetoes it, Ohio gun owners should have no more illusions about where Dewine stands. If he happily surprises us and signs the bill into law, I’ll be happy, but still won’t trust he did it for any reason other than what will blowback on him the least.

I’m finishing this column up on Sunday afternoon. Hopefully, we’ll know the answer, and it will be a good one, by the time AmmoLand preps and publishes it.

About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

David Codrea

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