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Ohio: Comprehensive Pro-Gun Reform Legislation Remains Stalled
Election season has concluded and Ohioans are fortunate to have elected and re-elected numerous pro-gun candidates who will lead the state in protecting our Second Amendment rights during the 2013-2014 legislative session. However, our legislative agenda for this year is not complete.
House Bill 495, an important pro-gun reform bill that would address several problems with current Ohio gun laws, passed in the House by a 59 to 28 vote on June 13. Yet, HB 495 still needs to be considered by the state Senate before being sent to the Governor for his signature.
Specifically, HB 495 would make the following changes:
- Establish an automatic reciprocity between Ohio and other states that have automatic reciprocity for their concealed handgun licenses. Currently, the Attorney General must enter into a written agreement with another state to establish reciprocity. HB 495 would still allow for written agreements between the states if the other state does not have automatic reciprocity, but it eliminates the requirement for a written agreement if reciprocity can occur automatically by operation of law.
- Eliminate the renewed competency certification requirement for concealed carry licenses. Currently, after the first renewal of your concealed handgun license, you must submit proof of renewed competency to show that you are range competent for all subsequent renewals. HB 495 would make it so that you can simply show your existing or expiring license or your original competency certificate as proof that you have had the necessary training for all renewals.
- Change the definition of a loaded firearm in a vehicle. Currently, a firearm is considered loaded if a loaded magazine is present in the vehicle, even if the magazine is not inserted into the firearm. HB 495 will change the definition so that the magazine must be inserted into the firearm before it is considered loaded.
- Define "Concealed Handgun License" in the Ohio Revised Code and clarify that the definition applies to all references of a concealed handgun license. HB 495 will simplify the state code and make it easier to read, understand, comply with, and enforce.
It is critical that you call AND e-mail your state Senator immediately and urge him or her to SUPPORT HB 495! You were there for your legislator on Election Day; make sure they are here for you now. For contact information, please click here.
The Ohio General Assembly is scheduled to reconvene this week. With the end of the 2011-2012 legislative session quickly approaching, it is imperative that you contact your state Senator and urge him or her to support HB 495.