FLASH: Rep. Becker's DEFEND Act passed out of committee with 9-3 vote
The House Federalism and Interstate Relations Committee, chaired Kristina Roegner (R-37), has passed Rep. John Becker's DEFEND Act: Decriminalization Effort for Ending Notorious Deaths.
The bill seeks to decriminalize so-called “no-guns" victim zones for concealed handgun license (CHL) holders.
The bill may receive attention by the entire House of Representatives as early as tomorrow.
A fact sheet Becker circulated with his co-sponsor request letter states that "the DEFEND bill threads the needle between the rights of property owners to keep guns off of their property and the public safety attributes of Ohio’s finest citizens carrying guns." Under Substitute HB 233, a CHL-holder with a concealed firearm and discovered in a gun-free zone must leave upon request.
Failure to leave subjects the person to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $250 fine. Currently, violators caught in most government buildings face a fifth-degree felony charge and could spend up to 12 months in prison and pay a $2,500 fine.
Billionaire Michael Bloomberg's astroturf gun control group Everytown For Gun Safety is flooding Ohio with emails essentially claiming that the world is about to end if this bill is passed. Click here to let legislators know you appreciate their common sense support for this legislation, and tell them to ignore the latest round of Chicken Little attacks by out-of-state anti-gun extremists.
Two other bills which had been schedule for possible votes - HB 142 (Repeal LEO notification) and HB 201 (Constitutional Carry) were both given a hearing, but did not receive a vote, with Chairman Roegner saying the legislation needed more work.
Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, BFA PAC Vice Chairman, and a 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.