AP: Concealed-carry issue not going away quietly

The House won't vote on [an amended] bill to allow Ohioans to carry hidden guns this year, but a vote on the issue could take place in the Senate this week.

Work continued Monday to recruit supporters, said Sen. Jeff Jacobson, a suburban Dayton Republican who's chairman of the Senate Civil Justice Committee. An amended version of the bill was expected to be introduced Tuesday, he said.

However, talks appeared headed toward getting the State Highway Patrol to drop its opposition to the bill -- [the latest] key in getting Gov. Bob Taft's support.

The patrol was hoping the bill would be amended to include language similar to current law, which prohibits having a loaded weapon within reach of a driver or passengers. Unloaded weapons may be carried in cars, but the weapon must be in plain sight.

Speaker Larry Householder, a Glenford Republican, on Friday adjourned the House for the year, saying he would not call representatives back even if the Senate made its version less restrictive, because there was little support for the Senate bill among majority Republicans.

Some gun-rights advocates prefer to let the bill die and take their chances in the Legislature next year. If the bill does not become law by the end of the current session at the end of the month, proponents would have to start over.

"The Senate has done all in their power to make this legislation useless," said Jeff Garvas, president of Ohioans for Concealed Carry.

The issue also is before the Ohio Supreme Court. In April, the 1st Ohio District Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that the law banning hidden guns is unconstitutional because it restricts the right to self-defense. The Supreme Court is allowing the current ban to remain while it considers the case.

OFCC PAC Commentary:
What a revelation: The Ohio State Troopers leadership is willing to support a concealed carry reform bill IF virtually no one is actually allowed to carry concealed (i.e. IF there is no true reform).


Click here to read the entire Associated Press story.

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