Buckeye Firearms Association Endorses SB 338, Concealed Carry Law Reform Bill

Buckeye Firearms Association is pleased to announce its endorsement of Senate Bill 338, which was introduced Monday, May 12 by Senator Joe Uecker (R-Miami Township), and which seeks to make improvements to Ohio’s concealed carry rules and for many people that carry firearms.

The bill proposes to allow non-residents to apply for and receive an Ohio Concealed Handgun License (CHL) if they work in Ohio. This has become an issue for school employees who live in a bordering state and work in Ohio. To comply with federal law regarding carrying firearms in school zones, including the 1,000 foot perimeter around school property, one must possess a license from the state the school is located in. This bill would make it possible for these people to comply with federal law. They would be required to pass the same training and background check as Ohio residents and must apply in the county they work, or any adjacent county.

The bill would eliminate the 45 day residency waiting period before a person may apply for an Ohio CHL and clarify that an Ohio CHL would remain valid until expiration if a person moves out of state. These provisions allow persons to move into or out of Ohio and not have a lapse in their licensing to carry firearms.

Under the bill, completing OPOTA (law enforcement) training will satisfy the requirements of the training to obtain a CHL, as will military training, which will no longer expire. For everyone else, required training to obtain a concealed handgun license would change to eight (8) hours, which would still be above the national average.

The bill eliminates a loophole that has allowed some municipalities to lease their public land, such as parks, to a private individual who then bans firearms in clear violation of the intent of current law. Under this bill, such a leaseholder would not be allowed to enact bans more strict than state law.


UPDATE May 14: The bill sponsor deleted the above leasing provision after concerns were raised by the media that the provision extended father than its intended reach. According to the Columbus Dispatch, Sen. Uecker says he believes there are other ways to get at the sham lease issue the provision was trying to address.

“We’re exploring some alternative wording,” he said. “We may later amend it into this bill, or into another bill.”

CHL-holders routinely carry firearms in grocery stores, shopping malls, movie theaters and many other locations. Buckeye Firearms Association believes license holders would carry guns just as responsibly at COSI, Nationwide arena and other locations that would have been effected by SB 338.

Contrary to the notion that the "big, powerful gun lobby" just rolls over all opposition without regard to public safety, we agreed to removing this provision to give time for further discussion. Unlike the anti-gun rights side, we work hard at crafting legislation that is good public policy. We are interested in positive results of enacted legislation, not sound bites and over reach into personal areas of your life.

The issue with cities leasing their parks to private entities to deny license holders their right to defend themselves is real and needs to be addressed. They are using a loophole in the law and clearly thwarting the intent of the legislature. The Ohio Supreme Court has twice upheld Ohio's preemption statute. This is a growing point of concern in Ohio.

It is curious why a business like COSI would want to adopt a policy telling all potential mass murders that they are a safe place to conduct a mass killing. Common sense tells us that a "no guns" sticker on the door will not stop a person committed to mass murder. There is a growing body of evidence to indicate killers look for such signs in their planning stages. Columbine, Virginia Tech, the Aurora Movie theater, Red Lake, Nickle Mines, Luby's Cafeteria, and Sandy Hook were all "gun free" zones.

In just these seven locations, there were 119 people killed, and more than 130 injured. And this is not even close to picking the most deadly shootings. Why would any entity want to put itself in such company as these locations? Or why anyone would risk their families lives going to locations who work harder to make it safe for killers than your family? We don't know.

Buckeye Firearms Association will continue to listen to all sides and work with the legislature to pass legislation that makes life better for gun owners, and is good policy for everyone.


The bill also contains changes requested by law enforcement. The first change allows sheriffs to use money from the concealed carry expense fund to pay for other firearms training, as long as they are not unduly delaying people from applying for or renewing their CHL. Additionally, investigators appointed by the state attorney general to investigate Medicaid fraud would be authorized to go armed, in the same manner as sheriffs.

The bill would delete the entire CHL application from revised code and charge the attorney general with maintaining the application. This eliminates the need to pass legislation to update the application and will streamline the process. The A.G. must ensure the application is compatible with Ohio law and may not add any restrictions that are not in the law.

Lastly, the bill contains a technical fix so that all restorations will have the same function of law.

“This is good, common sense legislation,” said Jim Irvine, President of Buckeye Firearms Association. “It solves real problems for both citizens and law enforcement while maintaining appropriate safeguards to ensure the continued success of concealed carry in Ohio.”

The bill, which can be viewed in its entirety here, will received its first hearing before members of the Senate Civil Justice Committee on Wednesday, May 14 at 9:00am in the Statehouse North Hearing Room.

Media Coverage:

Cincinnati Enquirer - Gun Bill: Work in Ohio? You could get a concealed carry permit

Jim Irvine, chairman of Buckeye Firearms Association, called it “a good bill...It’s good common sense that addresses real problems.”

Cleveland Plain Dealer - Senate gun bill makes concealed carry changes without 'stand your ground' language

The Buckeye Firearms Association said it would close a loophole that allows municipalities to lease public land, such as parks, to private individuals who then ban firearms.

"This is good, common sense legislation," Buckeye Firearms Association President Jim Irvine said in a statement. "It solves real problems for both citizens and law enforcement while maintaining appropriate safeguards to ensure the continued success of concealed carry in Ohio."

Columbus Dispatch - Senate bill may open COSI, Nationwide Arena to guns

Ken Hanson, a lawyer and legislative chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said the goal is to make sure the underlying owner of the property is the one subject to the concealed-carry law, not the entity that leases it. If the bill did apply to places such as COSI, he said, “Why shouldn’t people be allowed to carry guns at COSI?”

The new measure was endorsed by the firearms group shortly after it was introduced.

“This is good, common-sense legislation,” said Jim Irvine, president of the association, in a release. “It solves real problems for both citizens and law enforcement while maintaining appropriate safeguards to ensure the continued success of concealed carry in Ohio.”

Following is a press release from the bill sponsor:

Uecker Seeks to Streamline Ohio’s Concealed Weapons Laws

COLUMBUS– State Senator Joe Uecker (R–Miami Township) today introduced legislation to improve and streamline Ohio’s concealed weapons laws.

Senate Bill 338 modernizes access to concealed carry licenses while adding common sense safeguards that protect all Ohioans.

Specifically, the legislation allows non-Ohio residents, upon completion of requirements, to receive a concealed handgun license if they are employed in the state. It also exempts any applicant who has successfully completed the Ohio Peace Officer Training or the annual firearms requalification training program from the competency certification requirement to receive a permit.

“Ohioans and those who travel in Ohio take their second amendment rights very seriously,” said Uecker. “This legislation will help protect those constitutional rights in a clear way, while also ensuring proper checks are in place to keep Ohioans safe.”

Senate Bill 338 specifies that an applicant is ineligible for a concealed handgun license if their out-of-state license is suspended for reasons similar to the reasons that trigger a suspension in Ohio. It also requires the Attorney General to create the application to apply for and renew a concealed handgun license. This streamlines the application process by eliminating legislative approval to update the application.

This legislation will now be referred to committee for further consideration and vetting by the General Assembly.

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