Reps. Maag & Thompson introduce HB422 (Repeal LEO notification) and HB425 (CCW in state-owned parking garages)
by Chad D. Baus
State Reps. Ron Maag (R-Lebanon) and Andy Thompson (R-Marietta) have introduced two bills that seek to reform, or "de-Taft," portions of Ohio's concealed carry law.
House Bill 422 seeks to repeal requirements that a concealed carry licensee inform an approaching law enforcement officer that the licensee is a licensee and is carrying a concealed handgun. According to Rep. Maag, Ohio is one of only four states that have such a requirement. The idea for repealing the notification provision has been the subject of frequent discussion since last June, when Canton police officer Daniel Harless was caught on dash cam video threatening to execute a concealed carry licensee because he felt notification did not happen in time. The case against the CHL-holder was eventually thrown out of court, and Harless was fired.
The bill also removes a provision requiring licensees to keep their hands in "plain sight" after the officer begins approaching and until the officer leaves, and also seeks to revise the definition of "unloaded" that applies to the offense of "improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle" so that loaded magazines or speedloaders would be allowed in the vehicle so long as the gun does not contain any ammunition.
HB422 is co-sponsored by Representatives Adams, J., Beck, Blair, Boose, Buchy, Goodwin, Johnson, Roegner, Sears, Stautberg, Uecker, and Wachtmann.
House Bill 425 seeks to remove the ban on the possession or storage of a handgun in a motor vehicle by a concealed handgun licensee in the State Underground Parking Garage or in any parking garage or lot that is owned and operated by the Ohio Building Authority or is all or part of a state government facility.
As Rep. Maag points out, this victim zone restriction prevents CHLs who park in these garages while at work from exercising their Second Amendment rights while traveling to and from work.
HB425 is co-sponsored by Representatives Adams, J., Beck, Boose, Blair, Brenner, Buchy, Derickson, Goodwin, Hayes, Martin, Sears, Stautberg and Uecker.
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What do you think? Should police be warned if someone is carrying a concealed weapon? If you have a concealed carry permit, how do you feel about these bills? Should guns be allowed in state-owned parking facilities? Contact me at [email protected] .
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Joe Eaton, southwest Ohio chair of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said his organization fully supports both bills. The notification law will unburden law abiding drivers, for example, who might be flustered from a fender bender and forget to notify an officer. Those people should not face criminal charges, he said. No other drivers have to remember a checklist of things the law requires them to do, he said.
"Studies have shown that overall license holders are several times more law abiding than the average population is," Eaton said. "Having these pitfalls for the license-holders out there is something we would like to see rolled back."
As for storing a weapon in a car parked in a state government building, he said citizens own those structures and should be able to carry protection on that property.
"Being able to store your firearm in your car while you're visiting the statehouse, that just seems like that should be a slam dunk to have that passed," he said. "Again we're talking about honest license holders. Anyone who is looking to use a firearm for criminal activity is not going to worry about the signs or restrictions."
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