Congresswoman Jean Schmidt completes CCW course, urges improvements to OH law

On October 15th, Congresswoman Jean Schmidt of Ohio's Second District attended and successfully completed a Concealed Handgun License training
class held in the Clermont County town of Miamiville, near Cincinnati.

Instructor Collin Rink, co-owner of FRST training (www.frst.org), and
Buckeye Firearms Association volunteer said, "I was very impressed with Congresswoman Schmidt. She has been a Concealed Carry supporter for years as an Ohio State Representative, and it is refreshing to see her both support concealed carry with her vote, and with her actions in getting a license."

Rink also noted that Congresswoman Schmidt scored in the top three in the class on the written portion of the test, and had one of the most
fundamentally sound defensive shooting stances in the class.

Congresswoman Schmidt, who voted for the concealed carry reform legislation that is now law in Ohio, told Rink that she hopes the 126th General Assembly will "amend the law to clear ambiguities and inconsistences."

"Most importantly," she added, "a woman's ability to carry a gun in the car must be addressed."

Also attending the class was Hamilton County
Municipal Court Judge Alex Triantafilou, a 2005 Buckeye Firearms Association endorsee, and Jake Fashner, campaign strategist for Ohio Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell.

Rink noted that Secretary Blackwell was scheduled to attend, but was called away on official business. Blackwell plans on attending a future class.

As an Ohio legislator, Schmidt earned two endorsements from Buckeye Firearms Association. In an August 2005 special election Jean Schmidt defeated Paul Hackett in an election to fill a U.S. congressional seat vacated by former-Rep. Rob Portman, who became President Bush's trade representative. She will campaign to earn her first full-term in the 2006 Congressional elections.

Because of her strong support of gun owners while a member of Ohio's House of Representatives, and her continued support while a Member of Congress, Buckeye Firearms Association is pleased to take this occasion to announce our first endorsement of a Federal candidate is for Rep. Jean Schmidt for United States Congress.

UPDATE: The Cincinnati Enquirer has picked up this story! Click on the "Read More..." link below for complete details.

The Cincinnati Enquirer's headline reads "Schmidt obtains gun permit - She's cleared to conceal", and begins like this:

    WASHINGTON - Watch out Cincinnati, U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt may be armed.

    Schmidt and her stockbroker husband, Peter, took a 12-hour concealed-carry class at a private hunting and shooting lodge this month and passed written and target-range tests to get concealed handgun licenses.

    "It was kind of like getting a driver's license," Schmidt said, adding that she plans to pick up the actual license at the Clermont County Sheriff's Office this weekend.

The news article goes on to note that Schmidt was a co-sponsor of a bill that passed the Ohio Legislature in January 2004, giving Ohioans the right to carry a concealed handgun for self-defense purposes, and then continues:

    "When people talk about gun laws and what we passed, I want to be able to talk about what needs to be tweaked based on personal experience," Schmidt said.

    Her instructor, Collin Rink, is a volunteer with the Buckeye Firearms Association and an active member of Ohioans for Concealed Carry, which had pushed for the new law. He praised Schmidt for getting the license.

    "It shows that she not only talks the talk, she walks the walk," Rink said, adding that the congresswoman had the "absolute best stance in the class."

    Schmidt scored among the top three in her 20-person class on the written test, said Risk, a real estate agent who runs Fenton-Rink Security Training with John Fenton, a Cincinnati lawyer.

The newspaper reports that Schmidt had to bring her own gun to a class - a new .380 ACP Bersa semiautomatic handgun that was a Sweetest Day gift from her husband, and makes mention of the other officials who attended the class (detailed in the Buckeye Firearms coverage above).

Again, from the Enquirer:

    Schmidt is probably the only U.S. lawmaker in the area to have a license.

    Ohio Sens. Mike DeWine and George Voinovich, as well as Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Westwood, told The Enquirer on Thursday that they don't have a concealed handgun license and don't plan to get one.

    Schmidt was endorsed in her recent 2nd District special election by the National Rifle Association, although her Democratic opponent, Paul Hackett, already had a concealed handgun license.

    But Schmidt said she won't bring her handgun to work with her in Washington, where it's illegal to carry a concealed firearm.

    She declined to say when she'd carry it in Ohio, however. "You never know whether Schmidt's carrying or not," she said with a chuckle.

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