Ohio House prepares to loosen gun restrictions

Ohio House prepares to loosen gun restrictions

Ohioans would no longer need a license to carry a concealed firearm, and teachers would need less training to carry a gun in the classroom, under two bills up for a final Ohio House vote Wednesday afternoon. The bills — House Bills 227 and 99 — mark the latest attempts by the Republican-dominated Ohio General Assembly to roll back Ohio’s gun-control laws. HB 227, sponsored by Republican state Rep. Tom Brinkman of Cincinnati, would allow anyone age 21 or older to carry a concealed firearm unless state or federal prohibits them from possessing a gun. Ohio would become the 22nd state to allow conceal-carry in public without needing a license, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. The bill would also no longer require motorists to tell law enforcement about concealed handguns in their vehicles unless they’re asked. Right now, drivers who fail to pre-emptively notify an officer in Ohio that they have a gun with them face a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail, a $1,000 fine, and suspension of their concealed-handgun license. HB227 would eliminate that penalty. HB227 attracted a lot of committee testimony, both from supporters and opponents of the bill. In sponsor testimony, Brinkman argued that it’s “not always practical” for gun owners to carry a firearm openly and that they may decide to put a coat or jacket over their gun “to avoid unnecessary hassle from the public or law enforcement.” He added: “Sadly, that individual instantly […]

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