Lawmakers in Ohio on Wednesday gave initial approval for a bill recognizing the Second Amendment as all the permit needed to carry a concealed handgun in the state.
The measure, HB 178, eliminates the state’s concealed weapons license requirement and codifies the right of a person who is 21 or older and not otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm to carry a handgun without first getting a CWL. The bill won the 7-4 approval of the House Federalism Committee this week.
Under current law, Ohio residents must pay a minimum of $67 for a background check when applying for a carry license and show proof of having received at least eight hours of firearm competency and safety training. Sheriff’s Offices in the Buckeye State last year issued 69,375 new licenses and renewed 98,927 existing ones, the latter a record.
HB 178 would keep the current permitting program in place but modifies state law to stipulate it is not a crime to carry a concealed handgun without having such a license.
Among other tweaks, the bill would eliminate the current requirement to notify law enforcement when a person is carrying a weapon. Currently, a violation of the notification requirements is a first-degree misdemeanor which can lead to six months in jail or $1,000 in fines and results in suspension of the licensee’s carry permit.
House Speaker Larry Householder, R-Glenford, intervened last week to delete a requirement as part of HB 178 that would have mandated new gun owners receive a pamphlet on state gun laws, saying he was urged by Ohio Gun Owners to drop the requirement over fears about confusing language.
The measure now heads to the chamber’s criminal justice committee for further review. Currently, permitless carry, also referred to as constitutional carry, is the law of the land in 15 states in one form or another with a 16th, Kentucky, joining that club next month.