State Sen. Kris Jordan, R-Ostrander, has introduced Senate Bill 341 in order to allow Ohioans to carry concealed firearms without being licensed by the state.
The bill, also known as the “Constitutional Carry” bill, was introduced this past week.
Currently Ohio requires residents to undergo training and to obtain a concealed-carry permit from their county sheriff’s office.
“I believe that Ohio should remain at the forefront on efforts to preserve the right to self-defense,” Jordan said. “There is a similar bill currently in the House.”
Jordan said he has sponsored the legislation to support the “Second Amendment community” and to promote the right of “law-abiding citizens” to keep and bear firearms.
“I’ve had multiple years where a lot of people have approached me about Second Amendment rights,” Jordan said. “I support those rights.”
Currently a number of states do allow carrying concealed firearms for residents 21 years and over without requiring classes or licensure, he said.
Ohio would be joining six other states that allow concealed carry without state permits, he said, if the legislation passes.
Jordan said Friday that his bill had been dropped off at the clerk’s office just a couple of days ago, making it a little late in the year. “I don’t know if the bill will be passed this year,” Jordan said.
If it does not pass this year, Jordan said he would need to reintroduce the bill again next year.
However, “an increasing number of states are moving toward legislation of this nature,” Jordan said.
Ohio’s existing concealed carry license procedure would remain in place to satisfy and protect reciprocity with other states, he said.
“People might want to obtain a permit so they can conceal carry across state lines,” Jordan said.
The bill does not change who can own or carry a firearm and it doesn’t change the types of firearms or where they can be carried legally, he said.
“It’s a reckless proposal that would put the Ohio public at risk,” said Jennifer Thorn of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence. “We strongly oppose this outrageous infringement of those who want to be free of gun violence.”
The Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence is a statewide nonprofit organization founded in Toledo in 1995.
Thorne points to the fact that Ohio already legally permits residents to carry firearms openly in Ohio without the requirement of training. She said it is better to know about the firearms, instead of covering them up, under the pretense of not wanting to scare anyone.
“All they want to do is put a jacket on to cover up the gun so it doesn’t scare anyone,” Thorne said. “It’s not fair. Don’t the rest of us deserve to know who is carrying a gun around our families?”
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.