2022 - BFA in the News

Note: some websites change or deactivate stories after we link them here.

September 12, 2022
WSYX (FOX Columbus) - Ohio teachers can now carry guns in the classroom

"We think that’s a benefit for schools. It returns them the option of having enhanced safety and security options in their schools," said Joe Eaton, who leads Buckeye Firearms Foundation's FASTER Saves Lives program.

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"Schools need to say, what can we do when everything else we’ve put in place fails," Eaton said.

Eaton, who trains educators on carrying guns in the classroom, said he feels arming teachers is the answer.

"What we know is that the longer the violence continues and the longer we delay getting medical response, we are going to see more dead or injured. So, schools need to do something once the violence starts to reduce those two time periods," Eaton said.

For districts that choose to turn to armed teachers in those moments, there's a 24-hour training requirement, plus eight hours of prequalification training every year.

"24 hours is what we’ve worked with this nation’s experts on to put together a curriculum that meets what we consider a minimal standard, where I myself would be comfortable putting my grandkids in a school with staff that have been through this level of training," Eaton said.

August 31, 2022
Mount Vernon News - Buckeye Firearms Association opposes Dolan's gun-control bill

The proposed gun-control legislation of State Sen. Matt Dolan, R-Cuyahoga, has drawn opposition from the Buckeye Firearms Association, which represents 4 million gun owners in Ohio.

Dolan sponsored the "Strong Ohio" gun-control bill, which failed to pass during the previous legislative session. The senator has now introduced SB 357, which the association said contains some of the same ideas of his previous bill. It called the bill "Strong Ohio 2.0."

"To be fair, Sen. Dolan has voted for a variety of pro-gun bills," Dean Rieck, executive director of Buckeye Firearms Association, said in a press release. "And in his campaign to win a seat in the U.S. Senate, he promised to champion gun rights. Unfortunately, instead of protecting or advancing the Second Amendment, he chose to sponsor a massive gun-control bill. And he lost his primary."

SB 357 includes three provisions that Rieck said should concern Ohio gun owners:

– A red flag law allowing authorities to seize firearms from individuals who have not been found guilty of a crime.

– A rule prohibiting law-abiding individuals who are 18-21 years of age from purchasing firearms without a "co-signer."

– Potential civil liability for legal, personal firearm sales, which Rieck said could lead to universal background checks.

"We believe authorities should enforce current law and target those who are actually committing a violent crime, rather than focusing on inanimate objects and targeting gun owners, the vast majority of whom will never commit any crime at all, let alone a violent crime," Rieck said.

Buckeye Firearms Association aims to defend and advance the right of citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities, including self-defense, hunting, competition and recreation.

August 20, 2022
Springfield News-Sun - Gun bill modeled on ‘Strong Ohio’ has short time to gain support: What comes next

The Buckeye Firearms Association denounced the bill as “‘Strong Ohio’ by another name.” The group has already opposed its major provisions, BFA Executive Director Dean Rieck said.

August 18, 2022
Cleveland Plain Dealer - GOP Cleveland-area lawmaker Matt Dolan introduces revamped version of Gov. Mike DeWine’s gun-safety plan

Asked about Dolan’s bill on Thursday, Dean Rieck, executive director of Buckeye Firearms Association, a leading Ohio gun-rights groups, called it “just another attempt to pass laws we have previously opposed.”

Rieck said the “red-flag” provision still opens the door for abuse to seize guns from someone who hasn’t been convicted of a crime, and he said the gun-seller certificate, while voluntarily, could become de-facto required for gun sellers who want to avoid civil liability. He also called the 18-to-21 provision “blatant and arbitrary” age-related discrimination.

“This is ‘Strong Ohio 2.0′ with more promotional material. Buckeye Firearms Association opposes this regurgitated package of gun control legislation,” Rieck said.

August 18, 2022
Springfield News-Sun - New gun laws bill announced today would make significant changes in Ohio: Here’s what it would do

The Buckeye Firearms Association denounced the bill as “‘Strong Ohio’ by another name and with more promotional material.”

“This is just another attempt to pass laws we have previously opposed,” Executive Director Dean Rieck said. “There are ‘red flag’ provisions that open the door for abuse by seizing legally obtained firearms before someone is convicted of any crime. There is a so-called ‘seller’s protection certificate’ that is presented as optional, but could easily become de facto mandatory for fear of civil liability. The bill even includes an unconstitutional ‘co-signer’ mandate for firearms purchasers who are 18-21 years of age, which is blatant and arbitrary discrimination.”

August 15, 2022
Cleveland Plain Dealer - Northeast Ohio school districts say they will not allow teachers, staff members to carry guns in classrooms, despite new state law

Dean Rieck, the executive director of Buckeye Firearms Association based in Westerville, said the group has always supported the concept of allowing school administrators, teachers and staff to carry guns.

“In the end what the data really shows is that it’s all about time. Time’s the only thing that matters,” he said. “When [shooters] enter a school and they start shooting people, you have to stop them.

“And every second that goes by means more people are dead. So even if police are fairly close by, it still takes them time to get there, to orient themselves to the situation and do something.”

If school personnel already are armed, the situation can be dealt with immediately, Rieck said.

July 31, 2022
The New York Times - Trained, Armed and Ready. To Teach Kindergarten.

The educators had come from Ohio and as far as Oklahoma for a 26-hour course by FASTER Saves Lives, a leading gun training program for school employees. It is run by the Buckeye Firearms Foundation, a Second Amendment organization that works alongside a major gun lobbying group in Ohio. The lobbying group, the Buckeye Firearms Association, supported the new state law for school employees.

Over the past decade, the foundation estimates it has spent more than $1 million training at least 2,600 educators.

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“We trust them with our kids every day,” said Jim Irvine, an airline pilot and a longtime advocate for gun rights who is president of the Buckeye Firearms Foundation and volunteers as a director with FASTER.

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“Time is all that matters,” Mr. Irvine said. “It’s that simple.”

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Mr. Irvine said the training is meant to focus on risk, not race. Shooting is warranted only if there is an “imminent threat to innocent people,” he said.

June 23, 2022
WEWS (Cleveland ABC) - Cleveland stabbing victim shares safety concerns after Ohio drops concealed carry knife restrictions

...Dean Rieck, Executive Director with the Buckeye Firearms Association and other proponents of Ohio law believes removing knife restrictions doesn't pose an increased safety risk, and better allows law-abiding citizens to conceal carry a knife for protection without increased risk of being unfairly charged with violating the law.

“This was a very uncontroversial bill, there were no opponents testifying against it," Rieck said. "It’s about clarifying the law so people aren’t getting in trouble.”

“The point of this is to make sure we don’t have a couple thousand different cities or villages coming up with their own rules. Because when we get down to the point where we’re measuring how long the knife is, or what kind of knife it is, how it was manufactured, it’s confusing. So the answer is to not have a bunch of different laws and have just one consistent set of laws.”

“There are always people who predict that something dire is going to happen after the law passes, and it never does. These laws are written carefully and I think most people are responsible. All we’re trying to do is make sure people can exercise their rights, understand the laws, and law-abiding people aren’t going to get in trouble for violating a rule they don’t understand if they’re not committing a crime or doing anything wrong.”

June 23, 2022
Spectrum News - Supporters and opponents weigh in on bipartisan gun safety bill

Some gun rights associations, like the Buckeye Firearms Association, which said it opposes the bill, said it leaves gun owners with concerns.

“Think anytime you put a bill on the floor that hasn’t gone through the committee process, they haven’t had hearings where the public is able to come in and testify, we haven’t had a chance to digest the bill and make good analysis and maybe even make suggestions that gives us pause,” said Rob Sexton, Legislative Affairs Director of the Buckeye Firearms Association.

...

The Buckeye Firearms Association said it is asking Ohio lawmakers to oppose the bill, and encouraged gun owners who have concerns to contact their legislators.

June 17, 2022
Toledo Blade - The Line: Local leaders stand against new permitless concealed carry law

Testimonies in favor of the legislation came from the National Rifle Association, the Buckeye Firearms Association, and other similar groups. Dean Rieck, executive director of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said they didn’t just testify — they were directly involved in crafting the legislation.

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...Mr. Rieck said the Buckeye Firearms Association does not support regulation or restrictions of any kind on firearm purchases or possession, stating that mental health evaluations would be a “major infringement” of Second Amendment rights.

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“We always recommend that people go ahead and get training on the law and on firearms and so on,” he said. “We don’t believe in mandating it, but we do strongly encourage people to get whatever training they can get.”

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“On Monday, I think that what you’re gonna find out is it’s just an ordinary day,” Mr. Rieck said...

June 16, 2022
WJET (ABC Erie, PA) - Best ways to keep our kids safe in school

An instructor from this 24-hour program was confident in the training that teachers are put through.

“We made it tougher than the Ohio Police Officers training because we didn’t want people to say ‘Hey, you’re not trained as well as a police officer.’ You know what, you’re right. We have to qualify above a police officer,” said Sean Maloney, Legislative Director of Buckeye Firearms Association.

Maloney said that in their program, they shoot more and run trainees through scenarios that they believe will fully prepare them for an active shooter scenario, injuries included.

“To say that teachers are trained to lock doors and keep their kids safe, that’s not true. Our teachers are trained to apply tourniquets, chest seals, pressure bandages, and can save the lives of our kids until medical personnel can come,” Maloney said.

June 15, 2022
Springfield News-Sun - Ohio New Concealed Carry Law Does Not Apply to Wright-Patterson, Base Says

The state law applies to qualifying adults, meaning it applies to those older than 21 years of age, not prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law, according to the Buckeye Firearms Association.

June 13, 2022
TheOhioStar.com - Ohio Constitutional Carry Bill Takes Effect

“This is a day that will go down in history,” Dean Rieck, executive director of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said in a statement at the time. “It has been about 18 years since Ohio enacted HB 12 to bring licensed concealed carry to the state.”

June 13, 2022
WCPO (ABC Cincinnati) - Concealed handgun licenses now optional, Ohio law easing restrictions on gun owners now in effect

Dean Rieck with the Buckeye Firearms Association called the signing a "great moment for Ohio and for those who wish to more fully exercise their constitutional right to keep and bear arms.”

June 13, 2022
WEWS (ABC Cleveland) - Ohio's permitless concealed carry is law, but Cleveland mother still recommends training

Buckeye Firearms Association Executive Director Dean Rieck backed up his statement supporting the elimination of mandatory training, but also was in support of optional training for some who had no weapons experience. The association proving links and information on Ohio's new law and what changes it has now put into effect.

"It has been about 18 years since Ohio enacted HB 12 to bring licensed concealed carry to the state," Rieck said.

"However, the brass ring has always been to eliminate the licensing mandate, which people refer to as permitless carry or Constitutional Carry. And now, finally, that day is here. This is a great moment for Ohio and for those who wish to more fully exercise their Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Still the Buckeye Firearms Association is in support of optional training for those who believe it will help them."

June 13, 2022
WEWS (ABC Cleveland) - Ohio's permitless carry law goes into effect Monday

Gun rights advocates say the change is overdue.

“It's been a long time coming,” said Rob Sexton, Legislative Affairs Director for Buckeye Firearms Association. “About half the states have a very similar law and have not experienced issues or problems with it. And so we anticipate this is going to work really well in Ohio, too.”

June 13, 2022
WOIA (FOX San Antonio) - Uvalde shooter posted 2 Instagram photos of guns days before attack

"I know plenty of young people who have firearms. It's not a matter of what they own, it's a matter of what they do. So, this is about behavior," said Dean Rieck of the Buckeye Firearm Association.

June 11, 2022
StarBeacon.com - Answers to questions about changes to Ohio's concealed carry laws

When Senate Bill 215 goes into effect Monday, it will make several changes to Ohio’s concealed carry laws.

Before you carry a concealed handgun, Dean Rieck, executive director of Buckeye Firearms Association, recommends reading the new rules:

• Ohio’s concealed handgun license (CHL) will be optional. If you are currently qualified by law to obtain a CHL and carry a concealed handgun, you will be able to carry concealed without a license. Other than school zones where federal law still requires a CHL, nothing changes.

• If you are stopped by a police officer, you only need to inform the officer you are carrying a handgun when or if the officer asks if you are carrying a handgun.

• In Ohio, you will no longer be required to carry the physical CHL on your person while carrying a handgun. However, several other states may still require you to have your license with you.

Will Ohio do away with the licensing system?

No. CHL classes will continue to be available. Gun owners who travel outside of Ohio may want to have a valid license to carry legally in other states. The license simply becomes optional for those who carry a concealed handgun in Ohio.

Will the CHL application process change in any way?

No. The new law does not change anything about the licensing process.

If someone applies an Ohio CHL and is denied, can they still carry without a license?

No. Nothing changes regarding who can legally carry a concealed handgun.

Does this change how I carry in my vehicle?

No. You will be able to carry a concealed handgun in your car with or without a CHL.

Does this change how I transport long guns in my vehicle?

No. Carrying concealed, with or without a license, deals with a loaded handgun only. Traveling with rifles and shotguns remains the same, meaning you must transport them unloaded, in a closed container, with ammunition in a separate container or closed compartment, in your trunk or in an area not accessible without leaving your vehicle.

Can non-residents carry concealed without a license?

Yes. While the rules for carrying a concealed handgun remain the same with or without a license, there will be no residency requirement.

What about storing a handgun in your personal vehicle in an employer’s parking lot?

The new law does not change your right to carry to and from work and to store your handgun in your vehicle when parked on company property. Your rights remain the same with or without a CHL. If you drive a company-owned vehicle, check with your employer.

June 11, 2022
The Chronicle-Telegram - 'Permitless carry' starts Monday, but it doesn't allow a free-for-all

The Buckeye Firearms Association, which lobbied for permitless concealed carry, also stressed that there are changes to the “duty to inform.”

Under the old law, anyone stopped by law enforcement was required to promptly tell officers they had a concealed weapon. That’s not necessarily the case anymore.

Now, you only have to inform an officer who asks whether you are carrying — and that officer only. There is no longer a duty to tell other officers who arrive or approach.

Ohioans also will be able to carry a concealed, loaded handgun in their vehicles with or without a concealed carry license, the Buckeye Firearms Association said.

There are other laws for transporting rifles and shotguns, however: They must be “unloaded, in a closed container, with ammunition in a separate container or closed compartment, in your trunk or in an area not accessible without leaving your vehicle,” according to a BFA guide.

Nor does the new state law allow anyone to carry a concealed rifle or shotgun.

“Surprisingly, someone actually did ask this question,” said the BFA guide. “We’re not sure exactly how someone would carry concealed rifles and shotguns other than under a long trench coat. However, the answer is no. Ohio’s concealed carry laws apply to handguns only.”

June 11, 2022
Lima News - What changes with Ohio’s new concealed carry laws?

When Senate Bill 215 goes into effect Monday, it will make several changes to Ohio’s concealed carry laws.

Before you carry a concealed handgun, Dean Rieck, executive director of Buckeye Firearms Association, recommends reading the new rules:

—Ohio’s concealed handgun license (CHL) will be optional. If you are currently qualified by law to obtain a CHL and carry a concealed handgun, you will be able to carry concealed without a license. Other than school zones where federal law still requires a CHL, nothing changes.

—If you are stopped by a police officer, you only need to inform the officer you are carrying a handgun when or if the officer asks if you are carrying a handgun.

—In Ohio, you will no longer be required to carry the physical CHL on your person while carrying a handgun. However, several other states may still require you to have your license with you.

Will Ohio do away with the licensing system?

No. CHL classes will continue to be available. Gun owners who travel outside of Ohio may want to have a valid license to carry legally in other states. The license simply becomes optional for those who carry a concealed handgun in Ohio.

Will the CHL application process change in any way?

No. The new law does not change anything about the licensing process.

If someone applies for an Ohio CHL and is denied, can they still carry without a license?

No. Nothing changes regarding who can legally carry a concealed handgun.

Does this change how I carry in my vehicle?

No. You will be able to carry a concealed handgun in your car with or without a CHL.

Does this change how I transport long guns in my vehicle?

No. Carrying concealed, with or without a license, deals with a loaded handgun only. Traveling with rifles and shotguns remains the same, meaning you must transport them unloaded, in a closed container, with ammunition in a separate container or closed compartment, in your trunk or in an area not accessible without leaving your vehicle.

Can non-residents carry concealed without a license?

Yes. While the rules for carrying a concealed handgun remain the same with or without a license, there will be no residency requirement.

What about storing a handgun in your personal vehicle in an employer’s parking lot?

The new law does not change your right to carry to and from work and to store your handgun in your vehicle when parked on company property. Your rights remain the same with or without a CHL. If you drive a company-owned vehicle, check with your employer.

June 10, 2022
WTVG (ABC Toledo) - Ohio permitless concealed carry goes into effect

Proponents of the move, such as the Buckeye Firearms Association, say the permitless carry law removes barriers for law-abiding people to use their right to bear arms.

June 10, 2022
Wilmington News Journal - Buckeye Firearms Association: Information on Ohio’s new permitless carry law

Senate Bill 215 will make it legal for qualifying adults to carry a concealed handgun without a license in Ohio beginning on Monday, June 13.

Generally referred to as “permitless carry” or “constitutional carry,” this legislation will make several important changes to Ohio’s concealed carry laws, according to a news release from the Buckeye Firearms Association.

There’s a lot of inaccurate information floating around. So we are providing the following resources to help clarify how permitless carry will work in Ohio. We hope you will use this information in your reporting to properly inform your readers, listeners, and viewers.

Many media outlets are reporting that anyone who can own a gun will be able to carry concealed without a permit, the release stated. This is NOT accurate. Nothing changes regarding who can carry. Only “qualifying” adults can carry a concealed handgun under permitless carry. Please refer to the LSC summary pages 3-5 for detailed information on “qualifying” adult.

3 primary changes

Ohio’s concealed handgun license (CHL) will become optional. If you are currently qualified by law to obtain a CHL and carry concealed, you will be able to carry concealed without a license beginning on June 13, 2022.

Other than school zones where federal law still requires a CHL, nothing changes regarding who can carry, what you can carry (a handgun), or where you can carry. The same rights and responsibilities apply whether you have a CHL or not, the BFA stated.

You will no longer be required to “promptly” inform. Current law says that if you are stopped by a law enforcement officer, you must “promptly” inform that officer if you are carrying a concealed handgun.

In addition, you must inform every other officer you encounter. When the new law goes into effect, you will need to inform only when or if the officer asks if you are carrying a handgun. And you are obligated to only inform the first officer who asks.

In Ohio, you will no longer be required to carry the CHL. If you choose to obtain a concealed handgun license, you will no longer be required to carry the physical license on your person while carrying a handgun. However, other states may still require you to have your license with you.

FAQ’s

Will Ohio scrap the licensing system?

No. The CHL will continue to be available for those who wish to have it. Those who travel outside of Ohio may want to have a valid license to carry legally in other states. The license simply becomes optional for those who carry a concealed handgun in Ohio.

Will the CHL application process change in any way?

No. The new law does not change anything about the licensing process. The application, fees, training, and other requirements will remain the same. This is important in order to maintain all the reciprocity agreements with other states.

I applied for an Ohio CHL and was denied. Can I now carry without a license?

No. Nothing changes regarding who can legally carry a concealed handgun.

You must still be a “qualifying” adult, meaning you are at least 21 years of age, not prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law, not a fugitive from justice, etc. Refer to the concealed carry manual available at the Ohio Attorney General’s website for more complete information.

Does this change how I carry in my vehicle?

No. You will be able to carry a concealed handgun in your car with or without a CHL. You do not have to unload. You do not have to make the handgun visible. You can have loaded handguns and magazines on your person or stored anywhere in your vehicle.

Does this change how I transport long guns in my vehicle?

No. Carrying concealed, with or without a license, deals with a loaded handgun only. Transporting rifles and shotguns remains the same, meaning you must transport them unloaded, in a closed container, with ammunition in a separate container or closed compartment, in your trunk or in an area not accessible without leaving your vehicle.

Can I carry in a bar, courthouse, church, etc.?

Per federal law, you will still need a CHL to carry in a school zone in your vehicle. If you leave your vehicle, your handgun must be secured and locked in your vehicle. Otherwise, nothing changes about where you can or cannot carry a concealed handgun. Areas that are currently no-carry zones will remain no-carry zones. Property owners will still be able to post no-gun signs.

Can I carry without a license in other states?

That depends on the laws of other states. Ohio law applies to Ohio only. When traveling to other states, you will need to abide by the laws of each state you’re in. References include the Traveler’s Guide to the Firearm Laws of the Fifty States, a book we sell at BuckeyeFirearms.org, and HandgunLaw.us, a website that provides information on the carry laws of each state.

Can non-residents carry concealed without a license?

Yes. While the rules for carrying a concealed handgun remain the same with or without a license, there will be no residency requirement when this law goes into effect. Someone who is otherwise a “qualifying” adult may carry with or without a license whether they reside in Ohio or another state.

What about storing a handgun in your personal vehicle in an employer’s parking lot?

The new law does not change your right to carry to and from work and to store your handgun in your personally-owned car or truck on company property. Your rights remain the same with or without a CHL. If you drive a company-owned vehicle, your employer may have different rules about whether or not you can carry or store a handgun in their vehicle.

June 8, 2022
Ohio Capital Journal - Columbus mulls new strategy to limit gun violence. Could it work?

The Buckeye Firearms Association, arguably the state’s most prominent gun lobbying organization, called attention to the nascent Columbus policy in its newsletter Monday. BFA argues the city is waging a specious argument to enact a grab-bag of gun restrictions that lack requisite support in Congress or the Statehouse.

Rob Sexton, BFA’s top lobbyist, said the city’s strategy is just an attempted workaround of Ohio’s preemption law, which has withstood repeated legal challenges. However, whether the city goes narrow or broad with any attempt to go after guns on the public nuisance theory, he said BFA is certain to fight it to the bitter end.

“It’s hard for me to imagine a scenario that would lead us to stand down,” he said. “Preemption is the pivotal law in Ohio.”

June 6, 2022
WEWS (ABC Cleveland) - Cleveland Councilwoman calls for tougher gun laws after child shot in her ward

[Cleveland City Councilwoman Stephanie[ Howse is referencing Ohio’s recently signed permitless carry bill, starting next week Ohioans 21 and older can carry a concealed firearm without any training or background check.

...

But back in March, Rob Sexton with the Buckeye Firearms Association told News 5 that the legislation protects families.

“In some cases, they [family members] may not have time to go get a permit, or go through the classes or the training,” said Sexton.

June 4, 2022
IndoNewYork.com - Ohio approves arming teachers after 24-hour training

For the Buckeye Firearms Association it will be the opposite. “We have learned over time that the more quickly an active killer is attacked, the more lives are saved,” said a spokesman for the group, Rob Sexton.

June 4, 2022
The Gal Times - The state of Ohio approved arming teachers

For the Buckeye Firearms Association it will be the opposite. “We have learned over time that the more quickly an active killer is attacked, the more lives are saved,” said a spokesman for the group, Rob Sexton.

June 3, 2022
Dayton Daily News - Downtown Dayton rally for National Gun Violence Awareness Day calls for lawmakers to ‘do something’

Joe Eaton, a regional contact with the Buckeye Firearms Association, an Ohio pro-gun organization, said Ohio laws are helping keep innocent people safe.

“The problem we have when we look at enacting additional restrictions on the honest people in the state of Ohio, we are limiting their options,” Eaton said. “And we can’t do that. We want to protect the rights of the crime victims to have every opportunity to decide on their own how they want to keep themselves and their families safe.”

He said there are already laws and punishments for people who use firearms illegally.

June 2, 2022
Associated Press - Ohio governor will sign bill allowing armed school employees

[Pictured:] Rob Sexton, a lobbyist for Buckeye Firearms Association and a supporter of GOP legislation that would permit Ohio school districts to arm employees by creating training standards, testifies in favor of the latest version of the bill on Tuesday in Columbus.

June 2, 2022
FoxNews.com - Ohio governor will sign bill allowing armed school employees

"I think it gets down to this: Do we want our kids to have a fighting chance in the event that the worst happens, right," said one of the bill's supporters, legislative affairs director for the Buckeye Firearms Association Rob Sexton, according to reporting from KAMR. "And for us, we’d just like a school to be able to have that option. Allows local school districts to make their own decisions,"

June 1, 2022
Ohio Capitol Journal - After Uvalde massacre, Ohio GOP hurtles toward arming state’s teachers

At Tuesday’s hearing, Rob Sexton, a lobbyist with the Buckeye Firearms Association, argued in support of the bill. He said it gives students a “fighting chance” in the face of a shooter.

June 1, 2022
Associated Press - Ohio lawmakers debate training for armed school employees

One supporter, Buckeye Firearms Association lobbyist Rob Sexton, said arming teachers would give children a fighting chance in the event “the worst happens in our schools.”

He also warned against making training so rigorous that it “becomes a disincentive that people don’t actually wind up enrolling in the program. We actually want school districts and people to be willing to take advantage of this option to protect our kids.”

Since the bill requires that armed employees have a concealed weapons permit, that adds eight hours to the training requirement, Sexton said.

June 1, 2022
Toledo Blade - Vote set to make it easier to arm teachers

The bill is backed by the National Rifle Association, the Buckeye Firearms Association, some school districts, and some county sheriffs.

...

“While last week's horrific events in Texas didn't happen here, it certainly drove home the urgency to get something done,” said Rob Sexton, a lobbyist for the Buckeye Firearms Association.

He said the training that such school employees had received at Madison was on target for active school shooter scenarios.

“We know that police response times vary greatly, and we know that every second counts and every second saves lives,” Mr. Sexton said.

May 31, 2022
Statehouse News Bureau - Senate committee okays training requirements for armed personnel in Ohio schools

Three supporters offered testimony, including the Buckeye Firearms Association, which provides training to school personnel for a fee.

Legislative Affairs Director Rob Sexton says the bill allows districts to decide if they want armed personnel based on their local law enforcement response time, and that many volunteers who work with schools already have extensive training. The bill requires 24 total hours of training, including 8 hours of training for a concealed carry permit, which Sexton says is enough and appropriate.

“You might as well put in the bill, ‘we don’t want anybody signing up for this program’, because that’s the reality. 150 hours’ worth of training means there will not be armed staff in the school," Sexton said. "So there’s a balance point there. Proficiency is important, but so is availability."

May 31, 2022
WBNS (CBS Columbus) - Teachers unions, FOP against Ohio bill that would allow educators to carry gun at school

"I believe in giving our kids a fighting chance when the police aren't in the room yet and seconds are going by. I'd rather have the chance that someone will protect them than to be sitting ducks," said Rob Sexton of the Buckeye Firearms Association, a pro-gun lobby.

May 31, 2022
WKRC (CBS Cincinnati) - Arming Teachers: Ohio bill aims to lower number of training hours from 150 to less than 30

“When you start talking about 140 hours of training, you might as well put in the bill, ‘We don’t want anybody signing up for this program,’ because that’s the reality; 150 hours of training means there will not be armed staff in our schools to protect our kids,” Rob Sexton from Buckeye Firearms Association testified.

May 31, 2022
Cleveland Plain Dealer - Gun lobby spent more than $580,000 on political contributions in Ohio since 2010

All told, the heaviest donor in state politics was not the NRA or the Buckeye Firearms Association, a grassroots organization that functions as the main gun lobby in Ohio, but the Ohio Gun Collectors Association, which gave at least $41,540.

The Buckeye Firearms Association gave at least $24,000 over that time while the NRA spent at least $10,600.

May 31, 2022
Cleveland Plain Dealer - Gun lobby spent more than $580,000 on political contributions in Ohio since 2010

All told, the heaviest donor in state politics was not the NRA or the Buckeye Firearms Association, a grassroots organization that functions as the main gun lobby in Ohio, but the Ohio Gun Collectors Association, which gave at least $41,540.

The Buckeye Firearms Association gave at least $24,000 over that time while the NRA spent at least $10,600.

May 26, 2022
iheart.com - This New Ohio Gun Law Goes Into Effect In June

Legislative Affairs Director Rob Sexton with the Buckeye Firearms Association believes, “The closer we can get Ohio to living up to the Constitution, which gives all Ohioans the right to bear arms to protect themselves, you know, the more we’ll be pleased.”

The constitutional carry law goes into effect June 13.

May 26, 2022
Cleveland Plain Dealer - After years of work, here’s how ‘radicalized’ gun activists helped pass Ohio’s permitless carry law

Perhaps the most important gun-rights group pushing for these changes was the Buckeye Firearms Association, founded in 2002 as the Ohioans For Concealed Carry Political Action Committee.

Rob Sexton, the Buckeye Firearms Association’s legislative director, said in an interview that the group’s goal was to lobby Ohio lawmakers to pass various bills loosening state gun laws -- not only for their own sake, but with an eye toward eventually getting enough support to pass conceal-carry without a license.

“Ultimately, they were all about laying out the future argument that prevailed with Senate Bill 215,” Sexton said. “It was absolutely the plan all along.”

...

[Michael Weinman, director of government affairs at the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio] said [Ohio Gun Owners Chris] Dorr “radicalized” Buckeye Firearms, leading them to push for more extreme legislation, and scared state lawmakers into voting for those bills by threatening to run primary opponents against them in the next election.

...
But Ohio House Majority Floor Leader Bill Seitz, a Cincinnati Republican, told cleveland.com that Buckeye Firearms and the NRA’s lobbying arm played the most vital role in the passage of the bill, as they addressed lawmakers’ concerns and answered questions as the bill moved through the legislature.

Seitz said Ohio Gun Owners’ effect “was, if anything, counterproductive,” because the group had hundreds of activists call lawmakers’ personal cellphones. Seitz called that tactic “obnoxious.”

After a permitless carry bill failed to pass during the final days of the 2019-2020 legislative session, Buckeye Firearms Executive Director Dean Rieck said his group entered this session with a plan to push a permitless carry bill through the legislature as quickly as possible, in advance of the 2022 election.

...

In September of 2020, Buckeye Firearms officials met with House Speaker Bob Cupp, a Lima Republican, and Speaker Pro Tempore Tim Ginter, a Salem Republican, to lay out their plan for passing a permitless carry bill, Buckeye Firearms Executive Director Dean Rieck said during a March podcast.

Rieck said they then met the following day with Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman and state Sen. Terry Johnson, the Scioto County Republican who sponsored the bill this session.

“Those meetings were really the pivotal part of this entire plan,” Sexton said during the podcast. Had they not been able to hold those meetings (particularly with Cupp), “I don’t know that we could have gotten where we wound up.”

...

However, Sexton said during the podcast, Buckeye Firearms officials grew worried because some law-enforcement groups told Republicans that the bill, as written, would make it harder for police officers to do their job.

...

On March 2, the day of the House floor vote, Sexton said on the podcast that there was still “tremendous potential” for the bill to be derailed -- both by Republican lawmakers worried it would lead to cops getting killed, and right-leaning legislators concerned the House amendments would allow police to stop anyone and take their gun. From the start, it was assumed -- correctly -- that the 35 Democrats in the House would vote against the bill.

Sexton said Buckeye Firearms sent the House GOP caucus a message saying, in short, that if the House couldn’t pass Senate Bill 215, gun owners would see that as a total failure.

“And I think ultimately I think that clarified things for a lot of the Republicans in the House,” Sexton said. The bill then passed 58-36, after Republicans swept aside three attempts by Democrats to amend the bill. Shortly after, the bill cleared a final concurrence vote and went to DeWine’s desk.

...

The bill was officially sent to DeWine on March 3, putting the Greene County Republican in a rather tough spot.

When running for governor in 2018, DeWine indicated in writing to the Buckeye Firearms Association that he would support legislation to allow people to carry concealed firearms without a permit.

...

Under the Ohio Constitution, the governor has 10 days (Sundays excluded) to veto a bill. On the tenth day, DeWine’s office, without comment, announced that he signed SB2 15.

...

...Rieck, during the podcast, said SB215 was the “gigantic leap forward” that his organization has been seeking for two decades.
“We have other bills we’re working on, but this has always been the brass ring,” he said.

May 25, 2022
Cleveland Plain Dealer - As mass shootings continue, Ohio is about to significantly loosen its gun-control laws

Gun-rights groups, including the Buckeye Firearms Association and Ohio Gun Owners, worried a “red-flag” law would deny due-process rights to gun owners and noted that even DeWine has admitted that parts of his gun plan wouldn’t have stopped the Dayton mass shooting.

Buckeye Firearms has contributed a total of $8,500 to Ohio politicians since 2020, according to the Ohio secretary of state’s office. The largest contributions went to Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman, a Lima Republican ($2,000), Ohio Supreme Court Justice Sharon Kennedy, a candidate for chief justice this year ($1,500 total), and $1,000 each for two Republican lawmakers who helped pass SB215: state Sen. Terry Johnson of Scioto County and state Rep. Shane Wilkin, a Highland County Republican.

May 25, 2022
WDTN (NBC Dayton) - Ohio gun laws are changing: What goes into effect on June 13

Legislative Affairs Director Rob Sexton with the Buckeye Firearms Association said these were laws they were fighting for.

“The closer we can get Ohio to living up to the Constitution, which gives all Ohioans the right to bear arms to protect themselves, you know, the more we’ll be pleased,” Sexton said.

May 25, 2022
Dayton Daily News - As in Texas, Ohio law allows 18-year-olds to buy gun with no wait

“This was a tragic incident,” said Dean Rieck, executive director of the Buckeye Firearms Association. “However, there are security concepts that could have been used at this school to help prevent or deter such an incident, such as controlling who has access to the building, lockable classroom doors, armed school staff with training, etc. Waiting for help from the police is not a good plan.”

...

Rieck called for the passage of legislation to reduce the training required for school staff to carry firearms in schools in Ohio. He said currently in order to carry a firearm, a school staff member must receive the same training as police, amounting to more than 700 hours.

“This effectively prevents any school staff from being armed now,” he said. “Many Ohio schools are now soft targets and at more risk for similar incidents.”

May 18, 2022
WKEF (ABC Dayton) - One-on-one with Dayton police: Will SB 215 impact officer safety?

Joe Eaton with the Buckeye Firearms Association believes officer safety isn't in jeopardy.

“No threat to law enforcement,” said Eaton. “The main different is, is it is no longer a criminal offense for someone who forgets to tell a police officer.”

May 17, 2022
Tribune Chronicle - Woman arrested at Lowellville school incident

Ohio’s new law that will allow handguns to be carried without a concealed carry permit will not change the laws governing weapons in school zones, according to the Buckeye Firearms Association.

Senate Bill 215, which Gov. Mike DeWine has signed into law, will take effect June 13, making it legal to carry a concealed handgun without a license in Ohio. School zones, however, do not fall under the new Ohio guidelines because federal law still requires a concealed handgun license in school zones, according to Buckeye Firearms Association.

May 11, 2022
WEWS (ABC Cleveland) - Local mother who lost son to suicide supports new Ohio initiative

The program is also working in connection with the Buckeye Firearms Association and Ohio firearms retailers statewide to spread important awareness on family gun safety.

April 25, 2022
The Daily Standard - Good Idea or Wild, Wild West - Opinions on new law vary even among officials

The Buckeye Firearms Association said 21 other states allow people to carry a concealed weapon without a license.

April 12, 2022
Politifact.com - More states remove permit requirement to carry a concealed gun

The Buckeye Firearms Association, which advocated for the Ohio permitless law, argued that bearing arms is a constitutional right, so government should not be able to mandate anything, "including fees, training, licensing, etc. We support the idea of training, but we do not support mandated training."

April 11, 2022
WKEF (ABC Dayton) - What are ghost guns? Why President Biden is regulating them

Joe Eaton of the Southwest Buckeye Firearm Association said this is just another feel-good piece of legislation.

“It’s sad because it does nothing against the criminals that are misusing firearms, but simply makes more criminals out of otherwise honest, law-abiding citizens who simply want to enjoy the hobby of creating, using, and owning firearms,” said Eaton.

...

Eaton said the Biden Administration can’t redefine what’s classified as a firearm, only Congress can, and if the government is serious about cracking down on criminals, they must be prosecuted.

“Criminals are not going to put in the effort that it takes to machine, build, manufacture, test, troubleshoot and all of the work that’s involved in creating a homemade firearm,” Eaton said. “Criminals find it much easier to steal or otherwise acquire firearms through theft or friends and family.”

April 6, 2022
WJW (FOX Cleveland) - Bill would allow Ohio school staff to carry guns with 20 hours of training

The Buckeye Firearms Association supports the legislation.

“The current requirement has shut down security programs all over the state and there are a lot of schools right now that are wide open and defenseless,” said Dean Rieck, Executive Director.

In addition to teachers, the bill would allow janitors, cafeteria workers and support staff to carry a gun with 20 hours of training.

Rieck said he believes the legislation will give complete control to districts about security in their schools.

“A lot of schools that have security programs with armed personnel are in rural areas where they are far from law enforcement. It could take 15-20 minutes for them to show up,” said Rieck.

April 4, 2022
Norwalk Reflector - Changing the face of firearms instruction

According to the Buckeye Firearms Association, little will change regarding the existing Ohio requirements for carrying concealed handguns. A key difference, however, involves the requirement for informing police officers of the presence of a concealed weapon, if stopped. The new law no longer requires a concealed weapons carrier to "promptly inform" all individual police encountered in a stop of the gun's presence, according to the association. Under the new law, a person carrying a concealed handgun need only inform police when questioned, and is only obligated to inform the first questioning officer.

Another change regards carrying the CCW permit card itself, according to BFA. The state-issued card need no longer be carried, if possessed, under the new law. Other states, however, may require the permit to be carried. Additionaly, the licensing process will not change, which will allow Ohio to maintain existing reciprocity agreements with some other states.

April 3, 2022
Columbus Dispatch - Culture wars rage in Ohio as lawmakers debate guns, abortion, LGBTQ rights and more

In Ohio, conservatives are advancing an ambitious agenda of culture war issues, including gun rights, abortion, K-12 education policy, LGBTQ rights, vaccine mandates and protests.

Lobbying for these policy changes are Ohio Right to Life, Center for Christian Virtue, Buckeye Firearms Association, Ohio Advocates for Medical Freedom and other grassroots groups.

April 2, 2022
The Epoch Times - Ohio Gov. DeWine Faces More Decisions Regarding Gun Rights

Representatives from the Buckeye Firearms Association and Ohio Gun Owners are shifting their focus to additional proposals they hope will become law.

...

The Buckeye Firearms Association, the Ohio Gun Owner, and the NRA have yet to make an endorsement in the governor’s race.

March 31, 2022
WEWS (ABC Cleveland) - Activists on both sides of debate shoot down DeWine's proposed $10.5 million to combat gun violence

"The laws are on the books, but you've got to get down to enforcing them," Rob Sexton, Legislative Affairs Director for Buckeye Firearms Association.

...

Sexton said none of the machines matter unless the root of the problem is addressed.

"I think we need to be harder on violent crime in general," he said.

This isn’t a gun problem, it's a systemic rise in all violent crime, exacerbated by elected officials and law enforcement not cracking down hard enough on criminal offenders, according to Sexton.

"I think it sends a message to those who have no respect for the law, to begin with that there's an open field for them," he said. "So too often, people walk on bail when they ought to be kept incarcerated, or they wind up with lesser sentences when a repeat offender could be put away for much longer."

Whether it is bail reform legislation or its people holding their elected officials, their judges, their prosecutors accountable for lax sentencing and enforcement, something needs to change, the lobbyist said.

...For Sexton, law enforcement still needs to be tougher on crime, with or without these additional devices.

March 30, 2022
Archbold Buckeye - Ohio Now A ‘Constitutional Carry’ State

Chad Baus, Archbold, is a member of the board of directors of the Buckeye Firearms Association.

Baus said the Ohio concealed carry permit is still available, and having a permit makes traveling with a gun easier.

...

“The rules on the places you can go or can’t go all stay the same,” Baus said.

March 28, 2022
WFPL (PBS Louisville) - Ohio to allow people to carry concealed firearms without a permit

While campaigning in 2018, DeWine told the Buckeye Firearms Association he would deliver on two major gun bills if elected: a permitless carry bill and a “stand your ground” law allowing people to use deadly force in response to an attack rather than being required to first try and retreat.

...

Joe Eaton, a spokesperson for the Buckeye Firearms Association, argues the statistics point to a safer society.

“We do see up-ticks in the short-term, but I think today if you look back just a few decades it is quite evident that even with the humongous increase in the number of firearms owned and firearms used, that the violent rates are down across the country and across Ohio specifically,” Eaton said.

...

Eaton, the spokesperson for Buckeye Firearms Association, has been involved with concealed carry classes in the past and says many Ohioans will see the benefits to going through the process even if it is not required.

“It in general gives the people of Ohio more choices on how they want to keep themselves and their families safe,” Eaton said.

March 28, 2022
Atlanta Black Star - State Law Enforcement Unions Come Out Against Ohio Governor’s New Gun Law to Allow Concealed Carry Without Permit or Training

In a statement, Buckeye Firearms Association director Dean Rieck celebrated the passing of the law, saying, “This is a day that will go down in history,” The Columbus Dispatch reported.

“This is a great moment for Ohio and for those who wish to more fully exercise their Constitutional right to keep and bear arms,” he wrote.

March 28, 2022
Columbus Dispatch - Capitol Insider: After DeWine inks gun bill, firearms group raffling 'permitless carry' pistol

The day before the governor's speech, the Buckeye Firearms Association marked its victory by launching a raffle for a $2,200 Staccato "Permitless Carry" Pistol. Up to 1,000 tickets are being sold for $25 each.

"This is a special moment in the fight for the right to keep and bear arms. To celebrate, we wanted to offer a carry handgun that was just as special as this moment," said the group's executive director, Dean Rieck.

March 20, 2022
Akron Beacon-Journal - Time for politicians to listen to public, rather than lobbyists, on guns and redistricting

Dean Rieck, executive director of the Buckeye Firearms Association, called it “a great moment for Ohio.”

March 19, 2022
Washington Post - Nearly half the country requires no permit to carry a concealed weapon — and it’s a growing trend

The primary group that lobbied for Ohio’s permitless carry law was the grass-roots Buckeye Firearms Association. Executive Director Dean Rieck, in a recent podcast episode, described its strategy as “moving the Overton window” from a place where the public was largely wary of anyone with a gun to a place where opponents welcomed licensing laws.

“You get to the point where there’s enough trust to pass a law like this,” Rieck told The Washington Post in an interview. “I think we’ll find the dire predictions in passing this law don’t come true.”

...

Rieck argued that licensing laws end up stopping only law-abiding citizens from fully exercising their Second Amendment rights, since lawbreakers won’t submit to restrictions whether they exist or not.

“The kind of people who have criminal intent or have a record that would prevent them from carrying a firearm aren’t going to go to a sheriff’s office and get a background check,” he said. “It’s sort of self-selecting.”

Training is another issue. While Rieck said groups like his advocate for people to get as much training as they can, they don’t want training to be a barrier.

“There’s a difference between recommending training and mandating training,” he said.

March 19, 2022
Akron Beacon-Journal - Akron area police and firearms instructors react to Ohio’s new constitutional gun law

In response to Gov. Mike DeWine signing the new law, the pro-gun rights Buckeye Firearms Association said the change protects the rights of 4 million gun owners in the state. .

“This is a great time for Ohio and for those who wish to more fully exercise their constitutional right to own and bear arms,” ​​the group said in a statement.

March 18, 2022
WSYX (ABC Columbus) - Some educators fearful of bill that would reduce training hours to carry guns in school

Joe Eaton with Buckeye Firearms Association, said the 700 plus hours is excessive for a person who doesn’t want to go into law enforcement.

"They don't have to know how to report an accident scene. They don't have to study prostitution or commercial vehicle law. So, the 700 hours is really a big red herring,” Eaton said.

He feels having more people armed in schools is better protection than relying on outside law enforcement.

"If you look at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the response times there were the best we will ever get waiting on outside help. And we still lost 20 babies that day,” Eaton said.

March 18, 2022
Columbus Dispatch - Gun law puts people at risk for harm at the hands of 'individual Rambos'

Buckeye Firearms Association knows that the purpose of carrying a concealed handgun is to surprise an opponent: “you hope to have the element of surprise” when you carry concealed.

March 18, 2022
WKRC (CBS Cincinnati) - Education leaders concerned over bill reducing training hours for teachers carrying guns

Joe Eaton with Buckeye Firearms Association says the 700-plus hours is excessive for a person who doesn’t want to go into law enforcement. He feels having more people armed in schools is better protection than relying on outside law enforcement.

"If you look at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the response times there were the best we will ever get waiting on outside help, and we still lost 20 babies that day," Eaton said.

Eaton points out schools can require more than the 24 hours of training if they choose to.

March 16, 2022
WKEF (ABC Dayton) - DeWine signs SB 215; shooting survivors, domestic violence organizations outraged

2nd Amendment advocates, such as the Buckeye Firearms Association, are overjoyed it passed and say similar laws are already being observed in 23 other states without negative consequences.

...

Yet, Rob Sexton, legislative affairs director with Buckeye Firearms Association, said it will get rid of confusion, and explained when police ask if someone is armed, they still have to disclose the information by law.

“If a police officer asked you if you’re carrying, then you're mandated to tell them that you are, and I think that removes any confusion about who's in control of the interaction when a person encounters a police officer. And that's very consistent with how most states do it,” Sexton said.

Sexton tells me Ohioans who aren’t mandated are already signing up for gun training classes at record levels for their own safety. He says the legislation is desperately needed with police officer shortages as law enforcement agencies struggle to keep up with surging crime rates.

“The demand for this law is largely driven by the lawlessness that we see in society in general, and the inability of the police to get a handle on it largely because they've been handcuffed. ... Bills like these give people a fighting chance to protect themselves and, you know, whether you're, if you're the person who is, you know, physically not equal to your attacker, the firearm can make all the difference,” Sexton said.

Sexton, pointed to a case in Cleveland a few years ago in which a woman defended herself in her own house. He said she wouldn’t be alive today if she had waited to go through governmental bureaucracy in order to purchase and carry a firearm.

March 16, 2022
WHIO (CBS Dayton) - New Ohio gun law divides Ohioans; some celebrating, others concerned with safety

“This is a day that will go down in history,” said Dean Rieck, Executive Director of Buckeye Firearms Association. “The brass ring has always been to eliminate the licensing mandate, which people refer to as permitless carry or Constitutional Carry. And now, finally, that day is here. This is a great moment for Ohio and for those who wish to more fully exercise their Constitutional right to keep and bear arms.”

March 16, 2022
The Ohio Star - Ohio Gov. DeWine Signs Constitutional Carry Bill into Law

“This is a day that will go down in history,” Dean Rieck, executive director of the gun rights group Buckeye Firearms Association, said in a statement. “It has been about 18 years since Ohio enacted HB 12 to bring licensed concealed carry to the state.”

March 16, 2022
Dayton Daily News - DeWine praised, criticized for signing ‘constitutional carry’ bill into law

“This is a day that will go down in history,” said Dean Rieck, executive director of Buckeye Firearms Association. “It has been about 18 years since Ohio enacted HB 12 to bring licensed concealed carry to the state. However, the brass ring has always been to eliminate the licensing mandate, which people refer to as permitless carry or constitutional carry. And now, finally, that day is here. This is a great moment for Ohio and for those who wish to more fully exercise their constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Gov. DeWine made a campaign promise to Buckeye Firearms Association and to Ohio’s 4 million gun owners that he would sign a constitutional carry bill if it was put on his desk. And he has fulfilled his promise.”

March 15, 2022
Lima News - DeWine signs bill allowing people to carry concealed firearms without permits

When running for governor in 2018, DeWine indicated to the pro-gun rights Buckeye Firearms Association that he would support legislation to allow people to carry concealed firearms without a permit.

...

Dean Rieck, executive director of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said in a statement that Monday “is a day that will go down in history” in Ohio.

“Gov. DeWine made a campaign promise to Buckeye Firearms Association and to Ohio’s 4 million gun owners that he would sign a Constitutional Carry bill if it was put on his desk,” Rieck said. “And he has fulfilled his promise.”

March 15, 2022
Ideastream (PBS Cleveland) - Ohio becomes 23rd state to allow "permitless carry"

Nationwide and statewide, proponents of the bill, including the National Rifle Association, and the group Buckeye Firearms, restate the claim that gun owners have a constitutional right to bear arms, and that the current requirements are a burden to law-abiding citizens.
...

Backlash to the signing was swift, Ohio Democratic Party Chair Elizabeth Walters, Democratic gubernatorial candidate and former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, Desiree Tims, President and CEO of Innovation Ohio, were among many who filled our reporter's inboxes yesterday within minutes of the announcement, as did the group Buckeye Firearms and the NRA, in favor of Mike DeWine's action.

March 15, 2022
Associated Press - Sheriff McGuffey: Signing of concealed carry bill 'not well thought out' for high population areas

The Buckeye Firearms Association said 21 other states allow people to carry a concealed weapon without a license.

March 15, 2022
WCMH (NBC Columbus) - Ohio approves permitless carry bill

Rob Sexton of the Buckeye Firearms Association, who spoke in favor of SB 215 before the Ohio Senate Veterans and Public Safety Committee in October, said the bill would remove “irrational and unnecessary” hurdles for law-abiding citizens seeking to exercise their right to bear arms.

“A person who lives, works and drives through areas that have recently exploded in violence should not have to complete government paperwork, submit to a background check, take a class, and then wait on the government to exercise a right guaranteed by the state of Ohio,” Sexton said.

With spikes in violent crime, Sexton said Ohioans interested in owning a firearm and receiving firearm training is “at all time highs.”

“People are genuinely and legitimately worried about their own safety and want to take steps to protect themselves and their loved ones,” Sexton said.

March 15, 2022
WJW (FOX Cleveland) - What Ohio’s new concealed carry law could mean for traffic stops

Changes to the concealed carry requirements in the state have had the support of the Buckeye Firearms Association, among others.

“For years now the concealed carry license holder has to identify themselves to law enforcement, but the person illegally carrying a gun doesn’t have to. The person legally carrying a hunting rifle doesn’t have to so this put us all on the same page and law enforcement can treat us all the same,” said Jim Irvine in an interview with FOX 8 earlier this month.

March 15, 2022
TheHill.com - Ohio governor signs permitless concealed carry bill

“This is a day that will go down in history,” said Dean Rieck, executive director of the Buckeye Firearms Association, a pro-gun rights group. “The brass ring has always been to eliminate the licensing mandate.”

March 15, 2022
CNN.com - Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signs permitless concealed carry bill into law

Proponents of the law, including the National Rifle Association and the Buckeye Firearms Association, say that people still apply and pay for permits and training.

March 15, 2022
Vanity Fair - Ohio's Republican Governor Just Made It Even Easier to Carry a Concealed Handgun

“This is a day that will go down in history,” Dean Rieck, executive director of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said in a statement, describing the end of the licensing mandate as a “brass ring” his group has worked toward. “This is a great moment for Ohio and for those who wish to more fully exercise their Constitutional right to keep and bear arms.”

March 15, 2022
NBCNews.com - Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signs bill allowing permitless concealed carry

The Buckeye Firearms Association said 21 other states allow people to carry concealed weapons without licenses.

March 15, 2022
Cincinnati Enquirer - What to know about Ohio's new permitless concealed carry law

On Monday, Ohio became the 23rd, according to the Buckeye Firearms Association, a gun rights organization that supported the legislation.

Rob Sexton, the organization's legislative affairs director, said the law in both Ohio and Kentucky applies to out-of-state residents, so those crossing the river will soon be operating under a similar set of laws.

March 15, 2022
Ohio Capitol Journal - DeWine signs law removing training, background check, permitting requirement to conceal carry

“This is a day that will go down in history,” said Dean Rieck, Executive Director of Buckeye Firearms Association. “The brass ring has always been to eliminate the licensing mandate … and now, finally, that day is here. This is a great moment for Ohio and for those who wish to more fully exercise their Constitutional right to keep and bear arms.”

March 15, 2022
Associated Press - Ohio governor signs bill ending conceal carry permit mandate

The Buckeye Firearms Association said 21 other states allow people to carry a concealed weapon without a license.

March 14, 2022
Dayton Daily News - DeWine signs bill allowing ‘constitutional carry’ in Ohio

Supporters include the Buckeye Firearms Association, which called this bill the “brass ring” of their efforts since licensed concealed carry was allowed in Ohio about 18 years ago.

“This is a great moment for Ohio and for those who wish to more fully exercise their constitutional right to keep and bear arms,” said Buckeye Firearms Association Executive Director Dean Rieck. “Gov. DeWine made a campaign promise to Buckeye Firearms Association and to Ohio’s 4 million gun owners that he would sign a constitutional carry bill if it was put on his desk. And he has fulfilled his promise.”

March 14, 2022
Cincinnati Enquirer - Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed permitless carry. Why his gun record leaves him open to attack.

Together, the DeWine-Husted ticket won endorsements from Buckeye Firearms Association and the NRA in 2018 and later, the election.

...

As part of that campaign, DeWine made promises to sign bills such as stand your ground and permitless carry.

"Gov. DeWine made a campaign promise to Buckeye Firearms Association and to Ohio's 4 million gun owners that he would sign a constitutional carry bill if it was put on his desk," said Dean Rieck, executive director of Buckeye Firearms Association in a statement. "And he has fulfilled his promise."

But DeWine broke other promises with those bills, promises he made to a grieving crowd in Dayton after the 2019 mass shooting.

...

Ultimately, he did few of those things. Ohio's GOP-controlled Legislature was not interested in restricting gun rights. Lobbyists picked apart each proposal. DeWine's ideas even sparked turmoil within Buckeye Firearms Association, which removed its top lobbyist at the time.

March 14, 2022
Columbus Dispatch - Gov. Mike DeWine signs law eliminating requirement for conceal carry gun permits

"This is a day that will go down in history...," Buckeye Firearms Association Director Dean Rieck said in a statement. "This is a great moment for Ohio and for those who wish to more fully exercise their Constitutional right to keep and bear arms."

March 14, 2022
Statehouse News Bureau - DeWine signs bill to make it easier for Ohioans to carry concealed guns

"This is a day that will go down in history," wrote Dean Rieck, Executive Director of Buckeye Firearms Association, in a news release. "The brass ring has always been to eliminate the licensing mandate, which people refer to as permitless carry or Constitutional Carry. And now, finally, that day is here. This is a great moment for Ohio and for those who wish to more fully exercise their Constitutional right to keep and bear arms." Rieck says DeWine promised his group and gun owners that he would sign a Constitutional Carry bill if it was put on his desk and has now fulfilled that promise.

March 14, 2022
Cleveland Plain Dealer - Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signs bill allowing people to carry concealed firearms without training or permits

When running for governor in 2018, DeWine indicated to the pro-gun rights Buckeye Firearms Association that he would support legislation to allow people to carry concealed firearms without a permit.

...

Dean Rieck, executive director of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said in a statement that Monday “is a day that will go down in history” in Ohio.

“Gov. DeWine made a campaign promise to Buckeye Firearms Association and to Ohio’s 4 million gun owners that he would sign a Constitutional Carry bill if it was put on his desk,” Rieck said. “And he has fulfilled his promise.”

March 14, 2022
Gongwer News Service - Governor Signs Bill Eliminating License Requirement for Concealed Handguns

...[T]he Buckeye Firearms Association called the bill signing the "brass ring" for Second Amendment supporters, saying that the governor had fulfilled a campaign promise to endorse a "constitutional carry" proposal.

"This is a day that will go down in history," BFA Executive Director Dean Rieck said in a statement, noting it has been 18 years since licensed concealed-carry became law.

"This is a great moment for Ohio and for those who wish to more fully exercise their Constitutional right to keep and bear arms."

March 8, 2022
Dayton Daily News - Oregon District survivor asks DeWine to veto gun bill, gun rights group urges him to sign it

The Buckeye Firearms Association asked its supporters to contact the governor and tell him to sign the bill.

“The Buckeye Firearms Association declared this our No. 1 legislative priority for the 134th General Assembly and have been working on an almost daily basis to make permitless or ‘constitutional’ carry a reality in Ohio,” according to its website. “As of today, 21 other states have some form of permitless carry, and Ohio is poised to become No. 22.”

March 3, 2022
Cleveland Plain Dealer - Ohio legislature passes bill to allow people to carry guns without training or permits

Applications can denied to people who have a prior conviction, is subject to a protection order, or a court has found them to be mentally ill, among other reasons.

However, Dean Rieck, executive director of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said permit requests are also denied because the applicants moved away or died after submitting it. “It’s not all people trying to apply and they find out that they’re criminals,” Rieck said.

March 3, 2022
Dayton Daily News - Bill that eliminates training for concealed-carry handgun licenses goes to Ohio governor

The Buckeye Firearms Association, which had declared this “constitutional carry” bill as its top legislative priority, hailed its passage.

“We are at a historic moment in Ohio legislative history,” the group announced. “This is the closest we’ve ever been to passing a bill to make the licensing process optional for concealed carry of a firearm. Bills have been presented in former legislative sessions, but have not advanced.”

March 3, 2022
Patch.com - Permitless Concealed Carry Legislation Passed By Ohio Lawmakers

The Buckeye Firearms Association said SB 215 and similar legislation was the group's No. 1 priority heading into the 134th General Assembly.

"We are at a historic moment in Ohio legislative history. This is the closest we've ever been to passing a bill to make the licensing process optional for concealed carry of a firearm. Bills have been presented in former legislative sessions, but have not advanced," the firearms advocacy group said on its website.

March 3, 2022
WBNS (CBS Columbus) - Ohioans weigh in on bill eliminating required training, permits for carrying concealed weapons

“After seeing what happened in 2020 and also in 2021 with a lot of the riots and the other unrest around the country, I think that people started to realize why we wanted this and why Ohioans shouldn't have to get a license in order to carry or protect themselves,” said Dean Rieck, Executive Director of Buckeye Firearms Association.

Gun rights advocates argue the right to carry with no mention of training was written into the constitution and should be law.

“There are 21 states that have constitutional carry. Not a single one of them has tried to reverse this law. It's worked reasonably well in every state despite the predictions. So we think it's going to work here, too,” Rieck said.

March 3, 2022
Ohio Capitol Journal - Legislature passes permitless concealed carry; bill goes to DeWine

DeWine, however, has declined to state his position on the proposal for months. He drew scorn from gun advocates in the past for championing a modest gun control package in the wake of a mass shooting in Dayton in 2019. In contrast, he signed a “stand your ground” bill into law in 2020, removing a requirement to first seek retreat from a perceived attack before responding with lethal force. He also privately told Buckeye Firearms Association, a gun lobby organization, that he would sign the legislation on a candidate questionnaire in 2018.

...

Gun advocates — including Wilkin in his floor speech and a Buckeye Firearms Lobbyist in the past — cite 2018 research published by the American College of Surgeons that identified no statistical association between states loosening their gun laws and homicide or violent crime rates. (The ACS advocates, however, for limiting gun sales to people with mental illnesses, increasing penalties for illegal gun sales, and funding public health research on guns.)

...

In a news alert to followers, Buckeye Firearms Association called the vote "historic" and said no permitless carry bill has ever made it this far in Ohio.

"Twenty one other states have some form of Permitless Carry, and Ohio is poised to become number 22," the alert states. "Stay tuned"

March 3, 2022
Associated Press - Ohio bill ending conceal carry permit mandate heads to governor

The concept has the backing of the Buckeye Firearms Association, which says 21 other states allow people to carry a concealed weapon without a license.

March 2, 2022
WKYC (NBC Cleveland) - Ohio House and Senate pass bill that would eliminate concealed carry permit requirements

“The way this works is very simple. If you can carry with a license now, you’ll be able to carry without a license later,” said Dean Rieck.

Rieck is the Executive Director of Buckeye Firearms Association, one of the groups backing the bill. He says this was their number one legislative priority.

“What we’re trying to do is allow Ohioans to exercise their constitutional rights without that burden… No other constitutional right requires you to jump through that many hoops,” he said.

While Rieck says BFA encourages training, they don't want to see it mandated. When issues of safety come up, they point to 21 other states already allow such constitutional or permitless carry.

“This is not a novel concept,” he said. “Those states haven't had any big problems with this. We don't think Ohio is going to have any problems either.”

...

“We feel really good about the chances of this passing,” said Rieck.

March 2, 2022
WHIO (CBS Dayton) - Bill allowing Ohioans to conceal carry guns without permit heads to Governor’s desk

Buckeye Firearms Association has been in support of “Constitutional carry” legislation.

“We are at a historic moment in Ohio legislative history. This is the closest we’ve ever been to passing a bill to make the licensing process optional for concealed carry of a firearm,” the organization said in a statement.

March 1, 2022
WEWS (ABC Cleveland) - Ohio permitless carry bill advances to final vote against pleas from police, advocates

In previous hearings, supporters have said that with an increase in crime in the state, more and more people want to protect themselves and their families.

“In some cases, they may not have time to go get a permit, or go through the classes or the training,” Rob Sexton with the Buckeye Firearm Association said.

Anti-gun advocates say the bill's removal of conceal carry training is only going to cause more deaths from uninformed gun owners. Bill supporters say mandated training doesn't actually matter.

“The idea that the government required eight hours, I think most firearms owners much exceeded that,” Sexton said, adding that gun owners that conceal carry are not the problem — the problem is with criminals who access guns, and they will get guns no matter what."

March 1, 2022
Ohio Capitol Journal - House to vote on removing training, background check requirements for concealed carry

The Buckeye Firearms Association, a prominent gun lobby group, has declared the bill (informally known as “constitutional carry” or “permitless carry”) to be a major priority issue as primary elections near.

...

Gun advocates argue that those who plan to illegally carry a weapon or use it for nefarious purposes will already do so, regardless of any permitting requirement. Additionally, they say Ohio laws already allow for the open carry of firearms, so it’s somewhat incongruous that the law doesn’t allow for the concealed carry of firearms.

March 1, 2022
Statehouse News Bureau - An Ohio House committee passes a bill to do away with permits to carry concealed guns

After the hearing, Rob Sexton, legislative affairs director for the Buckeye Firearms Association, said "There is absolute reams of data to show that the law-abiding gun owner is not the one to be feared and, in fact, they are the ones that need protecting." Sexton said this bill is needed to protect the constitutional right of citizens to carry weapons. "We are at a time right now when police feel handcuffed, citizens don't know where they can turn for help and this just gives us a fighting chance," Sexton said.

February 24, 2022
WCPO (ABC Cincinnati) - 'It represents the wild, wild west': Tri-State leaders discuss bill that would change Ohio's concealed carry requirements

"This legislation works," said Rob Sexton with the Buckeye Firearms Association. "It gives people their God-given right to defend themselves and their loved ones."

Sexton spoke during the House subcommittee hearing in early February, pointing to other states that have passed similar legislation and saying recent research shows no uptick in gun violence.

"(It) refuted the baseless assertions with a continued barrage of credible research that proves this is nothing more than fear-mongering," Sexton said.

February 24, 2022
Ohio Capitol Journal - History Thursday: When DeWine tried to hold the gun industry accountable

“I voted for Senator DeWine six years ago, but he will never get a vote from me again,” the Buckeye Firearms Association president wrote in 2006, citing DeWine’s vote.

...

Since 2005, DeWine has straddled the fault lines of the national gun debate. On one hand, he championed a modest anti-gun violence package in 2019 that included strengthened penalties for illegal gun sales, allowing families and law enforcement to petition judges to seize firearms from people experiencing a mental health crisis, enhanced background checks, and others. The idea has gone nowhere in the gun-friendly General Assembly.

However, DeWine also signed a “stand your ground” bill in 2020 expanding the right to shoot to kill in perceived self-defense. He may also soon receive legislation from state lawmakers that would scrap permitting, background check and training requirements to carry a concealed weapon in Ohio — which he privately told the Buckeye Firearms Association he would sign.

February 22, 2022
Patch.com - Gun Safety Laws: Ohio Gets 'D' Grade From Giffords Law Center

Rob Sexton, the legislative director of The Buckeye Firearms Association — which describes itself as a "pro-gun" organization on its website — sent the following statement on Gifford's grades: "We reject their evaluation of Ohio in terms of gun laws. Ohio is increasingly moving toward finally recognizing what the constitution of Ohio says with regard to our rights to possess firearms. Our hope, of course, is that the legislature will take a major step in that direction by passing constitutional/permit-less carry legislation yet this session."

Sexton argued a study from the American College of Surgeons concluded there was "no statistically significant association between the liberalization of state level firearm carry legislation over the last 30 years and the rates of homicides or other violent crime."

February 18, 2022
Ohio Capitol Journal - Ohio gun deaths in 2021 near an all time high

Rob Sexton, a lobbyist with the Buckeye Firearms Association, noted 2018 research from the American College of Surgeons that identified no statistical association between states loosening their gun laws and homicide or violent crime rates. (The ACS advocates, however, for limiting gun sales to people with mental illnesses, increasing penalties for illegal gun sales, and funding public health research on guns.)

Sexton said a “building sense of anarchy within the criminal element,” coupled with weak enforcement and bail policies is behind the gun crimes.

“Add that to the handcuffing and demonization of law enforcement it’s no surprise to us that crime is on the rise,” he said.

February 17, 2022
The Center Square - Gun sales during emergencies approved by Ohio House

The bill, supported by the Buckeye Firearms Association, National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, now heads to the Senate.

February 17, 2022
Dayton Daily News - Ohio police union: Loosening concealed gun laws could endanger officers

Rob Sexton, legislative affairs director for Buckeye Firearms Association, testified earlier this month in support of the legislation. He disputed that allowing so-called constitutional carry without a permit would lead to an increase in violence or danger for officers.

“This bill would remove many burdens on law-abiding gun owners, which do nothing to reduce crime or save lives,” he said.

February 17, 2022
Ohio Capitol Journal - Ohio House passes bills to stiffen ‘riot’ penalties; stop police from limiting guns on scene

Rep. Scott Wiggam, R-Wooster, introduced the guns bill, a major priority of the Buckeye Firearms Association. He said while the governor and health department did not close down any gun stores during the COVID-19 lockdowns of early 2020, the bill ensures it remains that way in the future.

February 10, 2022
Ohio Capitol Journal - Concealed carry expansion bill nears final vote; other gun bills advance

Should the House pass the legislation again (they passed the same language contained in a different bill last year), it would go to the desk of GOP Gov. Mike DeWine. The governor has declined to take a position on the bill in public statements but told the Buckeye Firearms Association in writing during the 2018 primary that he would support a constitutional carry bill.

February 9, 2022
Gongwer News Service - Proponents Seek Speedy Action On Concealed Carry Bill

Rob Sexton, legislative affairs director for the Buckeye Firearms Association, called concerns from opponents that the bill could increase violate crime and endanger law enforcement "baseless assertions."

"It is a fact that there has been an epidemic of violence against our police officers, much like there has been an epidemic of violence in general," Mr. Sexton argued. "But as we have repeatedly asserted, these dangers have not come at the hands of law-abiding gun owners and, frankly, repeated assertions that Ohio is going to explode in violence if the state finally lives up to its own constitution are insulting, fear mongering and in many cases outright lies."

February 9, 2022
WTOL (CBS Toledo) - Ohio lawmakers poised to remove training, background checks from concealed carry requirements

The governor has declined to take a position on the bill in public statements but told the Buckeye Firearms Association in writing during the 2018 primary that he would support a constitutional carry bill.

...

Pro-gun lobby groups like the NRA and Buckeye Firearms backed the bill.

February 3, 2022
The Center Square -
Ohio bill to keep gun sales legal during emergency to get a 4th hearing

The bill received support at its second hearing in October from the National Rifle Association and the Buckeye Firearms Association, which called the legislation necessary because Ohio might one day decide to restrict gun usage.

“Waiting until Ohio’s political behavior is less friendly toward gun owners simply means those protections will never be enacted,” Rob Sexton, legislative affairs director of the Buckeye Firearms Association, testified at the time. “Twenty-four states have made it crystal clear. Ohio should be next.”

January 26, 2022
Ohio Capitol Journal - DeWine made written policy ‘promises’ to the gun lobby. Will he keep them?

During the gubernatorial campaign in the 2018 Republican primary, Buckeye Firearms Association, a gun rights advocacy group, issued a questionnaire to candidates asking their views on various policy items.

DeWine told BFA verbally and in writing in the questionnaire that he would sign a a bill repealing the legal duty to try to retreat before responding to an attack with deadly force, according to remarks from Buckeye Firearms lobbyist Rob Sexton and confirmed by the governor’s spokesman. DeWine also indicated he’d support a permitless carry bill.

...

Earlier this month in an interview, DeWine said “I have not taken a position” on legislation removing permitting requirements to carry a weapon. Despite the governor’s sometimes-vague public statements about the permitless carry bill, Sexton was confident DeWine would come through for gunowners.

“He committed to sign constitutional carry previously,” Sexton said. “Our expectation is that he lives up to his promises because he has before.”

...

In an interview earlier this month, before the BFA questionnaire came to light, DeWine refrained from taking explicit stances on various gun bills navigating the legislative process. For instance, when asked whether the government should require gun owners to receive training and a permit before carrying a concealed weapon, DeWine demurred.

“My attitude toward the bill will depend on what final bill do we get, and it will also depend on, there might be some other things contained in that bill,” he said.

...

Sexton offered a warm, though mixed take on DeWine, who is now facing several primary challengers from his political right seeking to paint him as insufficiently conservative.

“A lot of our members are very unhappy about his support for Strong Ohio but happy with the duty to retreat,” Sexton said. “As [DeWine] heads toward his re-election campaign, it would be a heck of a message to send gun owners if he signs constitutional carry and emergency powers [another BFA policy goal] in that same year. I think it would send a message that he can be counted on for strong, pro-gun legislation.”

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