House Speaker says Restaurant Carry bill could be sent to Governor next week, and that Kasich has assured him he will sign it

Batchelder credits pro-gun groups for winning over some opponents

by Chad D. Baus

The Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that House Speaker Bill Batchelder has received assurance from Governor Kasich that Ohio's Restaurant Carry legislation will get signed.

From the article:

"We visited about it," Batchelder said. "Absent something drastically changing, I don't know what that would be, the language is clear. There really is no problem there. I would expect the governor to sign it."

In addition, Kasich's spokesperson confirmed to the Cincinnati Enquirer that the governor will likely sign the bill:

Whichever bill clears the Ohio General Assembly first is expected to be signed into law by Gov. John Kasich, according to his spokesman. The legislation also relaxes limits on carrying guns in cars.

Kasich, a Republican, is a gun owner.

"While we are interested in seeing what the final version of the bill looks like, he has said in the past that he is supportive of the concept," Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols said.

The state Senate approved a virtually identical bill last month. Whichever bill clears the Ohio General Assembly first will then be sent to the governor.

Batchelder is quoted by The Plain Dealer as saying he would speak to Republican Senate President Tom Niehaus on how to proceed. He told both The Plain Dealer and the Dayton Daily News that one of the bills should move next week.

Batchelder is also crediting grassroots activism from pro-gun groups for having turned the tide in the House.

Last month, the Speaker made headlines when he revealed that his 59-member Republican caucus was unable to muster the 50 votes necessary for passage. A review of our 2010 candidate surveys showed that, so long as everyone kept their word, the votes were there. However, sources in the Statehouse told us that some were considering breaking their word and voting against the bill for emotional reasons. In response, Buckeye Firearms Association, the National Rifle Association and the Ohio Liberty Council began intensive efforts to encourage their supports to contact members of the House during the legislature's spring break.

While we knew the names of some of the representatives who were considering flip-flopping, only one had already done so. Rep. Matt Lundy, a Democrat from Elyria, committed on his 2010 BFA candidate survey that he would vote for the legislation in order to win a good grade and an endorsement, and then just a few months later proceeded to not only vote against it in committee, but to introduce two anti-gun amendments, including one that would have made CHL-holders' personal information public.

On April 25, we made the decision to expose the fact that Lundy had lied on his candidate survey. We published an article on this website, issued a press release to hundreds of news outlets in Ohio, emailed thousands of pro-gun voters, and shared the facts in a newspaper advertisement published in two newspapers that cover his district. We also made sure that a copy of the ad and resulting press coverage, including an editorial by one of the newspapers, the Lorain Morning-Journal, entitled "Lundy's duplicity over endorsement should be a concern to voters," was on the desk of every State Representative when they returned from spring break. We also provided a letter which dispelled the myths and provided them the simple facts about this bill.

As Speaker Batchelder now says, the efforts worked. From the The Columbus Dispatch:

Batchelder said a few weeks ago that he didn't have the votes to pass the bill, but pro-gun groups turned up the pressure. "We picked up votes. It's that simple," Batchelder said.

During floor debate on Wednesday, our letter and advertisements were mentioned by no less than five Representatives during floor debate, and the words "Buckeye Firearms" were uttered more than a dozen times.

We appreciate all of the words of appreciation we have received, but in truth, gun rights groups are only able to do what they do because of the efforts of the individual supporters who call, write, email and fax their representatives, as well as donate much-needed funds. Pro-self-defense gun owners in Ohio answered our call this month, and many other times over the past two or more years that legislation like this has been debated, and it is each of you who deserve the credit.

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.

Additional Media Coverage:
Brunswick Sun-Times - Brunswick police and restaurant owners have reservations about new concealed carry provisions

Columbus Dispatch - House votes to let guns into bars - Speaker credits pro-gun groups for winning over some opponents

Dayton Daily News - Gun owners a step closer to taking guns into bars

Marietta Times - Gun law draws reaction locally

New Philadelphia Times-Reporter - Ohio House bill may allow guns in bars

Dover Police Chief Joe Ball doesn't anticipate many problems if the bill becomes Ohio law.

"I think the people who went through the training and were issued the permits are good, decent people and will use common sense,” he said.

Ball said most permit holders know the law and will not risk losing their permits by consuming alcohol at a bar or restaurant. There's more chance of problems if a permit holder takes a gun into a bar than into a restaurant, Ball said. "I wouldn't go into a bar myself with one. It all boils down to common sense."

Ohio News Network - New Gun Laws Would Allow More Rights

After months of debate on a proposed concealed carry law, the Ohio gun lobby put its aim on wavering lawmakers, reported ONN's Jim Heath.

"Speaker Batchelder, bring this to the floor for a vote so that we know where we stand," warned Linda Walker of the Buckeye Firearms Association last week.

Wednesday night, the House did vote and overwhelmingly passed the bill. It will allow guns in restaurants, and bars. Proponents say it's a victory for Second Amendment rights.

..."If you look at all the states around Ohio, none of these states are strict carry in a car and none of them have a strict carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol. So it's a change that's long overdue," says Ken Hanson from the Buckeye Firearms Association.

If Kasich signs the bill, it could help restore relations between himself and the gun lobby. The NRA and Buckeye Firearms Association both endorsed former governor Ted Strickland in last year's campaign.

Reuters - Ohio House passes bills allowing more concealed guns

Strongsville Patch - Police Chief Isn't Opposed to Guns in Bars -- As Long as People Follow the Rules

With Ohio poised to start allowing gun owners to carry concealed firearms into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, Strongsville's police department isn't up in arms, so to speak, about the new law.

Police Chief Charles Goss said that while a number of police groups have opposed the measure, he supports Americans' Constitutional right to bear arms -- "as long as they're law-abiding, sober and sane."

Goss said responsible gun owners can be a friend to law enforcement.

"I think most police officers are a proponents of concealed carry -- we look at them as our allies," he said. "But there's a problem when they don't meet all the criteria."

Toledo Blade - Ohio House OKs concealed-carry in bars, eateries

WOIO (Cleveland CBS)- Ohio House passes bill to allow guns into bars

WSYX (Columbus ABC)- Ohio House Passes Gun Bill HB 45, 56-40 Vote

WHIO (Dayton CBS)- Ohio House Approves Bill To Allow Weapons In Bars

Youngstown Vindicator - State House approves concealed weapons in bars, restaurants

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