Editorial: House Bill 347 improves Ohio's conceal carry

April 19, 2006
The (Cincinnati.com) Community Press

By Ohio Rep. Danny Bubp

As many readers of this column know, I am a strong proponent of our Second Amendment right to bear arms. Last month, I reported in this column our Criminal Justice Committee in the Ohio House of Representatives was working diligently to bring House Bill 347 to the floor for a vote. I am pleased to report we have accomplished this goal and approved HB 347 by a vote of 76 to 19.

HB 347 is a culmination of bipartisan efforts over the last few months to address a number of problems raised by law enforcement and permit holders with the current law regarding licenses to carry a concealed handgun. After seeking input from all stakeholders including the National Rifle Association, Buckeye Firearms Association, Ohioans for Concealed Carry and law enforcement, HB 347 addresses most of the concerns raised thus improving the current law for all interested parties.

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This measure also establishes statewide preemption to prohibit local governments from continuing to enact ordinances regulating the use of firearms. Over the past several years, local laws have ranged from attempts to regulate concealed carry to outright firearm bans which undermine the fundamental American principle of equal protection under the law for all citizens. Without preemption, Ohio would continue to have a myriad of local firearm laws making compliance nearly impossible for law abiding gun owners, hunters, target shooters and firearm collectors who travel throughout the state.

A critical improvement in this bill removes the requirement that when a concealed carry licensee knowingly transports or has a loaded handgun in a motor vehicle, the loaded handgun either must be in plain sight or in a case that is in plain sight. This requirement virtually rendered the permit useless as plain sight was undefined and too difficult to comply with.

Additionally, an amendment to House Bill 9 which we recently passed allows a permit holder to prevent his/her name from being given to journalists for publication. Both HB 347 and HB 9 are now in the Ohio Senate for review.

Our efforts to improve the Concealed Carry law of Ohio have been fully supported by many local organizations, hunters and those who want to protect their families. I want to thank the NRA, Buckeye Firearms Association and Ohioans for Concealed Carry for working with us closely to pass these improvements to the Concealed Carry Law. I am proud to represent these interests and to be your voice in Columbus.

Danny Bubp is a Republican candidate for the Ohio 88th District House seat. He is the incumbent.

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