Governor Kasich signs Ohio's Restaurant & Car Carry Rules Fix & Restoration of Rights bills into law

Governor Kasich signs Ohio Restaurant Carry Bill
From left: Larry Moore (BFA), James Wheeler, Rep. Ron Maag,
Janet Maag, Gov. John Kasich, Rep. Jarrod Martin, Samantha Cotten
(Leg. Aide), Joe Eaton (BFA), Gerard Valentino (BFA)

Buckeye Firearms Association Leaders were on hand Thursday, June 30, for the signing of Senate Bill 17 (Ohio's Restaurant & Car Carry Rules Fix law) and House Bill 54 (Restoration of Rights), by Republican Governor John Kasich.

Also in attendance were two good friends to Buckeye Firearms Association: Tennessean Nikki Goeser, who during the lengthy debate over Restaurant Carry made no less than three trips to Ohio to share her heartfelt story of having her husband murdered in front of her by a stalker in a "no-guns" restaurant, and to call for Ohio legislators to pass reforms to our law so that the same thing couldn't happen here, and a citizen who had shared his personal story as proof of the need for the Restoration of Rights legislation.

"SB17 is critical to Ohio concealed carry license holders, and HB54 is critical to those who have had their Second Amendment rights restored in an Ohio court," observed Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine. "Ironically, in spite of all the media attention, neither will have any noticeable effect for most of the general public."

It is vitally important that gun owners realize that the changes that were signed into law today will not become effective for 90 days. We have placed a clock on our web site at BuckeyeFirearms.org that will count down to the effective date of September 30, 2011.

Buckeye Firearms Association is proud of our work on these important issues. It was an honor to join Governor Kasich and other legislators who helped pass the bills through the Ohio legislature.

Governor Kasich signs Ohio Restaurant Carry Bill
From left: Rep. Danny Bubp, Nikki Goeser, Gov. John Kasich
(photo courtesy of the Governor's Office)

Governor Kasich campaigned as a strong pro-gun candidate. Today he took the first step to prove his doubters wrong.

"42 of the 48 states that previously allowed concealed carry already permitted license holders to carry in restaurants that serve alcohol," observed Buckeye Firearms Association Legislative Chair Ken Hanson. "Ohio now joins that strong majority.

"Ohio law also allows CHL's to carry into a bar, in that there is no distinction between bars and restaurants in Ohio. While this section is by necessity more liberal than many states, Ohio is more strict than most in placing a strict prohibition on consumption by the license holder, something most states do not do."

Ohio is currently the only state that places onerous restrictions on how a license holder may carry their handguns in automobiles. Most of those restrictions will be repealed when SB17 becomes effective.

HB54, sponsored by Reps. Ron Maag (R-Lebanon) and Jarrod Martin (R-Beavercreek), will align Ohio law with federal statutes regarding the restoration of rights to Ohio firearms purchasers. Passage of this bill reauthorizes the court process that existed in Ohio prior to a recent change in how BATFE views Ohio's restoration process as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court's Caron decision, and which existed in Ohio since at least 1974.

"Today marks the culmination of more than two years of hard work for grassroots pro-gun rights groups in Ohio," said Irvine. "Both of these bills are long overdue and bring Ohio a step closer to complying with generally accepted practices in the rest of the country."

We thank all the legislators who voted for these two bills, and Governor Kasich for signing them into law. We look forward to beginning new work with our friends in the legislature, and with Governor Kasich, to make further improvements to Ohio's gun laws.

Please call Governor Kasich at 614-466-3555 to thank him for his support.

Also, please thank state Senator Tim Schaffer (614-466-5838) and state Representatives Ron Maag (614-644-6023) and Jarrod Martin (614-644-6020) for sponsoring these pro-gun bills. Also, please thank the companion bill sponsors, state Representative Danny Bubp (614-644-6034) and state Senator Jason Wilson (614-466-6508).

If your Representative or Senator voted in favor of SB17 and HB54, you should also call them and thank them. These calls are important - please take the time to thank those who have worked so hard to pass this excellent legislation.



Media Coverage
Cleveland Plain Dealer - Ohio Gov. John Kasich has busy day signing budget, guns-in-bars, park drilling, other bills

Dayton Daily News - Bars weighing impact of new gun law on business

Gongwer News Service - Governor Signs Guns-In-Bars Bill...

"SB17 is critical to Ohio Concealed carry license (CHL) holders, and HB54 is critical to those who have had their Second Amendment rights restored in an Ohio court," BFA Chairman Jim Irvine said. "Ironically, in spite of all the media attention, neither will have any noticeable effect for most of the general public."

The association noted that Ohio joins the large majority of states that allowed license holders to carry weapons in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol.

BFA Legislative Chair Ken Hanson said Ohio's law is still stricter than most because it prevents alcohol consumption by the permit holder.

Los Angeles Times - Ohio Gov. John Kasich signs bill allowing concealed guns in bars

Oxford Press - Alcohol and guns don't mix, bar employees say

Concern by customers and employees about the combination of firearms and alcohol, however, should be negated due to the new law, said Joe Eaton, the Southwest Ohio regional chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association.

"Everyone will agree that guns and alcohol don't mix, but the fact they don't mix is a nonstarter because the bill does not allow that at all," Eaton said in May.

The new law also brings Ohio in line with other states throughout the country, Eaton said in May.

"There are more than 40 states that have similar laws," said Eaton, a concealed carry permit holder since 2004. "I don't know why Ohio citizens are thought to be any different than other citizens in other states."

The People's Defender - Bubp-sponsored concealed carry law signed by Gov. Kasich Thursday

"Yesterday was a great day for CCW Permit holders across the state," said Bubp. "As one of the sponsors of the companion legislation (HB 45) to SB 17, it was an honor to attend with representatives from the Buckeye Firearms Association, Ohioans for Concealed Carry and the National Rifle Association," Representative Bubp said.

...In addition to simplifying existing concealed carry laws, Senate Bill 17 will bring Ohio's carry regulations in line with most other states' regulations. This legislation was originally introduced during the previous General Assembly as Senate Bill 239, which received the support of the National Rifle Association, the Buckeye Firearms Association and Ohioans for Concealed Carry.

The Record-Herald - Now it's the law

Reuters - Ohio governor signs law allowing guns in bars

USA Today - Ohio now allows concealed guns in bars, malls, stadiums

Wooster Daily Record - Ohioans can bring firearms into bars if owner says it's OK

"SB17 is critical to Ohio Concealed carry license holders, and HB54 is critical to those who have had their Second Amendment rights restored in an Ohio court," Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine said in a released statement. "Ironically, in spite of all the media attention, neither will have any noticeable effect for most of the general public."

WDTN (NBC Dayton) - Concealed weapons allowed in bars

WFMJ (NBC Youngstown) - New concealed carry law goes into effect

Patron Tom Benton says, "As a permit holder, basically people who don't have gun permits will still carry. The criminal will do whatever he wants to do."

The Buckeye Firearms association and other pro-concealed carry groups agree.

WSYX (ABC Columbus) - Kasich to Sign Guns in Bar Bill

Youngstown Vindicator - New Ohio law allows guns in bars, malls

"HB54 is critical to those who have had their Second Amendment rights restored in an Ohio court," Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine said in a statement.

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