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Ohio House committee passes a bill to do away with permits to carry concealed guns

 Ann Shroyer, Westerville, Rebecca Gorski, Chesterland and Laura Robertson-Boyd, Columbus talk in hallway of Ohio Statehouse after gun bill hearing in Ohio House Government and Oversight Committee.jpg
Jo Ingles
/
Statehouse News Bureau
Ann Shroyer, Westerville, Rebecca Gorski, Chesterland and Laura Robertson-Boyd, Columbus talk in hallway of Ohio Statehouse after gun bill hearing in Ohio House Government and Oversight Committee.jpg

The Ohio House Government Oversight Committee has passed Sub Senate Bill 215, legislation that allows Ohioans to concealed carry without a permit.

This bill would also remove required training and background checks from concealed carry requirements.

Lisa Voigt, a professor at Ohio State University, opposed the bill. She said passage of the bill would increase intentional as well as unintentional gun deaths. "We are in the midst of a public health crisis," she told lawmakers.

 Laura Robertson-Boyd, Columbus, testifies against SUB SB 215 in front of the Ohio House Government Oversight Committee
Jo Ingles
/
Statehouse News Bureau
Laura Robertson-Boyd, Columbus, testifies against SUB SB 215 in front of the Ohio House Government Oversight Committee

Laura Robertson-Boyd of Columbus said under this bill, "someone could buy a gun without a criminal background check, then could immediately carry that gun, concealed, down the street around our children and our families." She cited research from the "Moms Demand Action" group's "Everytown Research and Policy Studies" showing incidents involving firearms are the leading cause of death among children and teens.

Ann Shroyer, also affiliated with "Moms Demand Action," said in Ohio, "gun deaths had increased 44% from 2011 to 2020." She said it is a devasting level of gun violence. "I would indeed say it is blood in the streets," Shroyer said.

 Rob Sexton, legislative affairs director, Buckeye Firearms Association after the Ohio House Government Oversight Committee passed a gun bill (Sub. SB 215)
Jo Ingles
/
Statehouse News Bureau
Rob Sexton, legislative affairs director, Buckeye Firearms Association after the Ohio House Government Oversight Committee passed a gun bill (Sub. SB 215)

After the hearing, Rob Sexton, legislative affairs director for the Buckeye Firearms Association, said "There is absolute reams of data to show that the law-abiding gun owner is not the one to be feared and, in fact, they are the ones that need protecting." Sexton said this bill is needed to protect the constitutional right of citizens to carry weapons. "We are at a time right now when police feel handcuffed, citizens don't know where they can turn for help and this just gives us a fighting chance," Sexton said.

Police agencies, including the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police, have opposed this bill as it made its way through the legislative process. Instead of concealed carriers being required to let an officer know they are carrying a weapon, as is currently required, that responsibility would now be with the officer to ask instead.

An amendment added in the committee said those carrying a concealed handgun without a permit must meet the same legal standards as those carrying with a permit. And lawmakers added an amendment that reaffirms law enforcement officers can continue to make what are known as "tarry stops." Those are incidents where police can search a person if they have reasonable suspicion that the person has committed a crime. But the committee rejected an amendment backed by Democrats that would have allowed family members or police agencies to get a court order to temporarily restrict someone thought to be a danger to themselves or others. Majority Republicans on the committee also rejected a Democratic amendment that would require a background check with a firearm is transferred and another by the minority party that would have required gun dealers to give a buyer a one-page brochure stating present law.

The bill now goes to the full Ohio House for its approval and then on to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. Some of the details in this bill run counter to DeWine's "STRONG Ohio" gun reform plan that he proposed in 2019 after a mass shooting near Dayton left nine people dead and 17 others wounded. But DeWine has been sending mixed messages about his stance on gun reforms since then. Last January, he signed Ohio's controversial "Stand Your Ground" bill (SB175) which removes the requirement for a person to retreat before shooting a person in self-defense.
Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.