May 19, 2022
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signs bill allowing permitless concealed carry
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, signed a bill into law Monday scrapping required permits for carriers of concealed weapons, a move police unions said could put officers in peril and make the state "less safe."Senate Bill 215, also known as "Constitutional Carry" by supporters, will make a concealed weapons permit optional for those 21…

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, signed a bill into law Monday scrapping required permits for carriers of concealed weapons, a move police unions said could put officers in peril and make the state “less safe.”

Senate Bill 215, also known as “Constitutional Carry” by supporters, will make a concealed weapons permit optional for those 21 and older who are legally allowed to carry, while also eliminating the requirement that individuals “promptly” notify police officers they are carrying a concealed weapon.

The new law takes effect in about three months.

Opponents of the law have said it will make Ohio more dangerous.

They point to how the measure also discards the mandate requiring conceal carry permit holders to attend eight hours of training, which includes shooting practice.

“People get to carry a gun without any background check, without any training. It definitely makes Ohio less safe,” said Michael Weinman, director of government affairs with the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio.

In encounters with police, the law requires only that people confirm they are carrying a weapon if asked by an officer. Before, concealed weapon carriers were required to volunteer that information. Police will have to ask, and lying about a concealed weapon will be a misdemeanor offense, according to the law.

Tom Austin, executive director of the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said placing that onus on police rather a concealed weapon’s carrier will make traffic stops longer and could place officers in peril.

“We’re not here to offer an opinion on the Second Amendment or the right to carry a concealed weapon. We just think it’s a reasonable expectation to expect people, especially in this climate, to be able to make the simplest advisement to law enforcement that they’re carrying a concealed weapon,” Austin said.

He said, simply put, that DeWine was “wrong” to sign the bill.

A spokesperson for DeWine declined comment Tuesday.

The bill was introduced by Republican state Sen. Terry Johnson of Scioto County, who said it eliminates a discrepancy in Ohio law that currently allows people to openly carry a gun. Ohio’s GOP-controlled legislature passed the bill earlier this month.

Gun owners can still apply for a concealed weapons permit under the legislation, allowing those who obtain it to carry a concealed weapon in states with reciprocity agreements recognizing such permits.

The Buckeye Firearms Association said 21 other states allow people to carry a concealed weapon without a license. Gun control groups such as Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America opposed the bill.

The Ohio Democratic Party accused the governor of caving “to special interest groups and extremists.”

Last year, Ohio sheriffs issued 202,920 new or renewed conceal carry licenses, a 20 percent increase over 2020, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office said. Sheriffs denied licenses to 2,668 applicants who didn’t meet state-mandated requirements and revoked 420 licenses for such things as felony convictions and mental incompetence.

The Columbus Dispatch reported that Republicans and the firearms lobby say this issue is less about meeting a training minimum and more about not constraining the right to bear arms.

Johnson, R-Scioto, said: “This particular bill goes a large distance in getting the Second Amendment restored,” the newspaper reported.

Antonio Planas

Antonio Planas is a breaking news reporter for NBC News Digital. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.