(WJW) – The guns used by an 18-year-old in the murders of 19 children and 2 educators at an elementary school in Texas were legal purchases.
According to reports, the teen gunman who went from classroom to classroom in Robb Elementary School in Uvalde dressed in body armor and carried two military-style rifles.
He bought the guns shortly after his 18th birthday.
In Texas, you don’t need a permit to carry guns or any level of training or instruction with how to use one.
Ohio’s law that will do the same goes into effect on June 13.
Anyone who purchases a gun from a federally licensed firearms dealer will still be vetted through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which screens for felony convictions, dishonorable military discharge or involuntary commitment to a mental health facility.
By those terms, the gunman in the Uvalde shooting didn’t set off any red flags.
Neither did the gunman who killed 10 people in a Buffalo supermarket.
While New York does have a concealed carry permit, the suspected gunman, also 18, also wore body armor and carried an AR-15-style rifle bought legally.
How the law is changing in Ohio
To get a concealed carry license, applicants had to get a background check from their local sheriff’s department, complete 8 hours of training with 2 hours of live training and complete an exam that included an in-person physical demonstration of competency on handgun usage and rules for safe handling and storage of a handgun.
When Ohio’s “Constitutional Carry” law goes into effect in a few weeks, that will no longer be the case.
More than 2,600 applicants were denied permits last year.
Gary Wolske, president of the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio, the state’s largest police union, said the FOP believes in the right to carry a weapon — but also in background checks.
“When this becomes law, there’s no more requirements for anything. You don’t have to know how to turn on the safety, how to carry your weapon or even know which end of the gun goes ‘bang,’” Wolske said in an interview with the Washington Post after Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed the bill into law in March.
“On June 13th if you can just go to the gun store and buy a gun and walk out and really not have any knowledge that’s dangerous it’s dangerous for you the citizen and its dangerous for the community and law enforcement when you don’t know how to use a gun,” Wolske told FOX 8.
But supporters say it’s only the start.
“We kind of view it as a down payment on the interest that Republicans owe the gun vote in Ohio,” Chris Dorr, executive director of Ohio Gun Owners, told FOX 8. “It’s a good start, but we have a lot more work to do.”
“Gun owners in Ohio have been treated so unfairly for so long by Republican supermajorities that gun owners elected,” Dorr said.
How many concealed carry permits were issued in Ohio in 2021?
According to a report from Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, more than 202,000 concealed carry permits were issued in 2021.
When the new law goes into effect, there won’t be any documentation in law enforcement records about who may be carrying.
“When you add more guns to the mix with just normal citizens carrying them you know again a police officer walks into a situation and there’s two people with guns who’s the good guy and who is the bad guy,” said Wolske.
The law also eliminates the need for someone legally carrying a concealed weapon from having to ‘promptly notify’ an officer that they have the weapon to a police officer during a traffic stop, placing the requirement on the officer to ask first.
What won’t change?
Businesses will still be allowed to post that they prohibit firearms in their buildings or property. Also, for most people, carrying a concealed firearm inside a liquor establishment will still be prohibited and having a concealed weapon in a ‘school safety zone’ in most cases will still be illegal, that includes carrying any weapon inside a school building or on school property.