Attack on PA state legislators exposes flaws in Ohio's concealed carry law - YOUR CALLS NEEDED
Last week, two Democrat lawmakers in Pennsylvania were attacked near their statehouse by a group of youths armed with a gun. The teens were in violation of laws prohibiting possession of the gun, and intended to break more laws by robbing the legislators. Shots were fired, so they were also comfortable violating laws prohibiting murder.
State Representative Marty Flynn (D) returned fire with his gun. He has a Pennsylvania carry license and was armed. He was able to defend his life from deadly attack because in Pennsylvania, it's legal to do that, even in government buildings, including the state Capitol building. In Ohio it's still a felony to possess guns for self defense in almost all government buildings.
HB 231, sponsored by Ron Maag, would fix this defect in Ohio law. It's time to eliminate victim zones in Ohio. Your legislators need to hear from you now and this issue needs to be addressed when the legislature reconvenes.
In Guns & Ammo's ranking of "Best States for Concealed Carry," Ohio ranks 41st, and falls far behind all of its border states. Michigan, which passed concealed carry one year before Ohio, ranks 31st. West Virgina ranks 32nd, Pennsylvania is 15th, Indiana comes in 14th and Kentucky is ranked 11th.
While working on campaigns in the coming weeks, please ask every candidate if they believe that Ohioans are more dangerous and less trustworthy than Pennsylvanians. Such thinking is the only way to justify current state law. Ask state legislative candidates what they are doing to fix Ohio law.
If you are unable to work on state legislative campaigns, call your state senator, state representative and Governor Kasich.
If they are an anti-self-defense Democrat, ask them why Democrats in Pennsylvania carry guns to protect their own, but in Ohio they rally against your right to do the same thing.
If they are a Republican, ask them why Pennsylvania’s Democrats are better on the issue than the Ohio Republicans. With Republicans holding both strong majorities in the Statehouse and the Governor's office, they could fix our law if they wanted to.
If they have any hope of bringing the Buckeye State into the 21st century when it comes to gun rights, Ohio's pro-gun rights legislators have their work cut out for them. No pro-gun legislation has been sent to the governor's desk since December 2012. While the Ohio House passed House Bill 203, an important concealed carry reform bill last year, the Ohio Senate has failed to act.
If legislators do not act, HB 203, HB 231 and many other pro-gun bills that are pending will die at the end of December.
If you want to see the General Assembly act to improve gun rights in ways that are already enjoyed by the majority of other states, call your Representative and Senator NOW and ask them when pro-gun legislation is going to move in Ohio. They want your vote in November. Tell them we want their votes too.
Jim Irvine is the Buckeye Firearms Foundation President, BFA PAC Chairman and recipient of the NRA-ILA's 2011 "Jay M. Littlefield Volunteer of the Year Award" and the CCRKBA's 2012 "Gun Rights Defender of the Year Award." Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, BFA PAC Vice Chairman, and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.