Dayton Daily News documents gun advocates' legislative progress in the Buckeye State

The Dayton Daily News has a long history of using our First Amendment rights to bash our Second Amendment right to bear arms.

Witness the 2002 editorial claiming a pending concealed carry bill was "harmful, narrow politics," or the 2004 op-ed expressing fears that the persons getting new concealed handgun licenses "could be the Mom who drives your kid to the birthday party. The workman who comes to your home to repair your furnace. The mourner who attends your grandmother's funeral. The hot-headed co-worker in the cubicle next to yours" (Oh my!), or another warning that "many so-called law-abiding people have been known to beat their spouses, drink and drive or get in fights in parking lots. Now these people will be able to legally have a gun hidden in their jacket." (Oh my again!)

We're sure that this was also their intent with a new series of articles that documents how "one-sided" Ohio's gun law changes have been over the years, but we have to say we enjoyed the series none-the-less. It's good to see a reminder of how much gun rights advocates' hard work has paid off on behalf of Ohioans young and old.

From the article "Gun restrictions ease in Ohio":

High-profile tragedies like the execution-style killings of the Rhoden family in Pike County and mass shootings starkly symbolized by their names — Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Charleston, San Bernardino and others — fuel an emotionally-charged debate over gun culture in America.

But in Ohio, that debate has mostly been one-sided. Beginning with a concealed carry bill in 2004, the state’s Republican-controlled legislature has enacted a steady stream of pro-gun laws, and there is more in the pipeline.

The article notes that twice as many firearms-related bills introduced this session would expand gun rights or privileges as opposed to those toughening regulation. (We would point out for our friends in the legislature, however, that we're not interested in how many are introduced, but rather in how many are PASSED.)

Again. from the article:

Dean Rieck, executive director of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said efforts to expand gun laws are always met with dire predictions from gun control advocates — predictions that he said haven’t come to pass.

“Once we had Ohio citizens carrying concealed weapons, everybody discovered that the sky was not going to fall,” said Rieck. “It made a lot of other legislation significantly easier… Nothing disastrous happened. We found out that people who were carrying concealed were doing so responsibly.”

The DDN piece notes that two bills - HB 48 and SB 180 - are receiving the majority of attention from legislators, advocates, and foes alike.

In his sponsor testimony, Maag said [HB 48] corrects issues with Ohio’s original concealed carry law that “unnecessarily inhibits a law-abiding citizen’s ability to exercise their Second Amendment right.”

“It is meant to facilitate lawful gun ownership so that citizens are able to protect themselves and their family from crime,” he wrote.

The other bill being closely watched is Senate Bill 180, sponsored by Cincinnati area Republican Sen. Joe Uecker. The bill would permit people to store guns in vehicles on workplace parking lots and includes language to protect workers from retaliation by their employers if the weapons are stored properly.

Gun advocates say they expect the bill to pass.

The article also takes a look back into history at the long fight to restore Ohioan's constitutional right to bear arms for self defense.

More than a century after Ohio banned concealed weapons in 1859, the legislature approved an “affirmative defense,” which stated that citizens couldn’t be punished if they could prove they were justified going into a dangerous situation armed with a concealed gun.

At least four other concealed carry bills were introduced between 1995 and 2002 and killed — often because of Republican opposition, said James Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Association.

“The big important people in the Republican Party — George Voinovich, Bob Taft and Jo Ann Davidson — those three individuals were all very against the right of people to defend their lives,” Irvine said. “They were just flat out opposed to it their whole careers.”

Eventually, a concealed carry bill was passed. But the end result kept Ohio far behind the curve when it compared to the rest of the nation.

“As big of a game changer as it was, the bill was horrible. It was arguably the worst concealed carry bill any state’s ever passed,” Irvine said.

Among objections Irvine had with the original bill is that it didn’t prohibit local governments from enacting their own gun laws.

Irvine said many of the bills introduced over the last decade have been aimed at removing what he said were “poison pills” included in the 2004 legislation.

“We’ve been working on it for 12 years and we’ve got many more years to go at the rate we’re going,” he said.

After discussing efforts to allow concealed handgun licensees to carry on Ohio's college campuses, the article concludes, as could be expected in a Dayton Daily News article, with a quote from "an organizer of the new Dayton Chapter of the Brady Campaign," citing a thoroughly-debunked claim that "90 percent of all Americans want universal background checks." No effort was made by the DDN to correct the false claim, but they instead lament that "those favoring tougher gun laws in Ohio struggle to be heard."

In a separate article, the DDN features an interactive entitled "How have Ohio's gun laws changed over the years? And, what laws are being considered now?"

For a much more complete look at the history of the fight for the right to bear arms for self-defense in the Buckeye State, click here to read Buckeye Firearms Association's "Ohio Gun Rights Timeline," a comprehensive look that dates all the way back to 1788!

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, BFA PAC Vice Chairman, and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is the editor of, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.

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