(WKBN) – There are two bills currently proposed to the Ohio General Assembly that would change the law when it comes to carrying concealed weapons.
House Bill 227 was introduced in March and Senate Bill 215 was just introduced on Aug. 5. They’re two separate bills but very similar in what they entail.
Among other things, both bills would allow a person 21 or older to carry a concealed deadly weapon without a license. It would also remove the requirement to notify law enforcement that you’re carrying when stopped.
There are Ohioans on both sides of the fence. Some said they favor these bills and believe they should be passed.
“All this bill does is allow you to go armed the same way you could openly, except not openly. It’s a law that’s already on the books in more than 20 states. Study after study has shown that it doesn’t produce an increase in crime,” said Rob Sexton, legislative affairs director for Buckeye Firearms Association.
While others, like Sheriff Jerry Greene, of the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office, feel it’s a bad idea.
“I certainly believe that law-abiding citizens should be allowed to carry weapons, but when you’re removing the training involved and what it takes to get a CCW permit, concealed handgun license, you’re taking out an element of the person learning what the responsibilities are. Learning the training involved. Learning safety, proper care,” Greene said.
Currently, the law states that in order to get a license to carry a concealed weapon, you must complete a firearms safety course. If either of these bills are passed, this would not be the case. Sheriffs in Ohio are responsible for doing the background checks and for issuing the concealed handgun licenses.
Greene says if these bills were to pass, they could put people in danger and at risk for accidents.
“We see how many accidents there are out there and shootings that take place. I just think it just opens the door, it just opens Pandora’s box for potential accidents,” Greene said.
However, Sexton disagrees.
“I don’t think that the law should make you jump through hoops before you can use that firearm to protect yourself or your family. So requiring the training, I think, is contrary to what the Constitution says and frankly, just not necessary,” Sexton said.
House Bill 227 was introduced by State Rep. Tom Brinkman and State Rep. Kris Jordan. Locally, State Rep. Mike Loychik is a co-sponsor of the bill.
Senate Bill 215 was introduced by Sen. Terry Johnson. Sen. Michael Rulli is a co-sponsor of this bill.
First News reached out to both Loychik and Rulli for their comment on the bills but did not hear back.
If passed, House Bill 227 would allow Ohio residents to conceal all deadly weapons, not just firearms.
Right now, House Bill 227 has been referred to the committee, which means it will be reviewed to see if it will move forward.