Gov. Kasich signs SB 199 into law

[Editor's Note: This article was updated as additional information became available.]

Buckeye Firearms Association is pleased to report that Governor Kasich has signed Senator Joe Uecker's Amended Substitute Senate Bill 199 into law.

In addition to changes originally proposed by Sen. Uecker, SB 199 (Active Duty Armed Forces Concealed Carry/ Handgun Transfer) was amended to make a number of improvements to Ohio law, including expanding the number of places where Ohioans are allowed to exercise their Constitutional right to self-defense, and preventing employers from disallowing employees from keeping firearms locked in their personal vehicles on company property.

This victory was won by Ohio's 4 million gun owners against fierce opposition from the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, Ohio Manufacturer's Association, Ohio Municipal League, Ohio Prosecuting Attorney's Association and Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police, not to mention gun ban extremists funded by a certain out-of-state billionaire. During debate on the bill, the latter misleadingly referred to the legislation as the "guns everywhere" bill. After the signing, the group issued a statement claiming the bill is a threat to "public safety." When nothing adverse occurs, of course, they won't be held to account by the media for their claims, just as their predecessors haven't been properly held to account for their own wild claims, made after passage of previous improvements to Ohio's concealed carry laws.

As passed, Am. Sub. SB 199 contains language addressing improvements to were originally proposed in both House Bill 48 (Eliminate many 'no-guns' victim zones), sponsored by Rep. Ron Maag, and Senate Bill 180 (Protect Workers' Constitutional Rights), also sponsored by Sen. Uecker.

The law allows for concealed carry in some places it is already legal to open carry guns. It removes several victim zones - places that are easy for bad people to kill many innocents - such as day-care facilities, private aircraft, and public areas of airport terminals - and it makes improvements to school safety zones by allowing CHL-holders to leave their firearms in their vehicles on school grounds, just as they've been allowed to do on college campuses for many years. The new law also also grants political subdivisions, colleges and universities the authority, if they choose, to allow people to legally possess concealed firearms.

The law also stipulates that a business entity, property owner, or public or private employer may not establish, maintain, or enforce a policy or rule that prohibits or has the effect of prohibiting a person who has been issued a valid concealed handgun license from transporting or storing a firearm or ammunition inside the person's privately owned motor vehicle.

And of course the bill still contains its original language, which allows active duty military members to carry concealed weapons without licenses provided they have military ID and proof that they successfully completed firearms training that meets or exceeds Ohio concealed carry law training requirements.

SB 199 passed the House by a 68-25 vote, and the Senate by a 22-8 vote.

Click here to read the exact language of the new law, which will take effect in about 90 days.

Buckeye Firearms Association would like to thank the Governor and the thousands upon thousands of people who responded to our calls for action to help move this bill through the legislature and to the Governor's desk.

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.

Additional Information:

Overview of changes to Ohio concealed carry law passed in SB 199

Media Coverage:

Cleveland.com - Gov. John Kasich signs bill to allow concealed carry at colleges, daycares

The Buckeye Firearms Association and National Rifle Association supported the measure.

Gongwer News Service - Governor Signs 17 Bills Including Expanded Concealed Carry Law Impacting Colleges, Daycares, Employers

Pro-gun groups, meanwhile, applauded the signing.

"We're very pleased the governor signed the bill," Buckeye Firearms Association Executive Director Dean Rieck said. "There was a lot of controversy over the specifics of the bill, but in the end I think this is a real Christmas gift for Ohio gun owners."

...

[L]awmakers were able to successfully insert a provision that restricts employers from prohibiting employees from keeping guns in vehicles on employer property and language specifying an employer is not liable for incidents arising from a stored firearm.

Ohio Chamber of Commerce Director of Labor and Legal Affairs Don Boyd said the group still harbors concerns and will continue reviewing the measure in order to provide more guidance to its members going forward.

...

But Mr. Rieck said that without such a provision, gun owners are essentially deprived of their Second Amendment right and unable to carry their firearms the entire day.

Regarding the removal of the protected class language, he said the association is still reviewing the final language. "We think that overall we've taken a few steps forward," he said.

Toledo BladeKasich signs weapons, puppy bills

“The bottom line is we will have a state law that prohibits employers from adopting discriminatory policies,” said Jim Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Association. “That will protect employees who work for businesses that now have those policies.

“They can protect themselves and their lives as they go to and from work …,” he said. “A lot of people don’t carry at all because they’re afraid of making a mistake at work. Now they can make it a part of their daily lives.”

WLWT (NBC Cincinnati) - With stroke of a pen, Ohio's governor opens door for more guns in more places

Ohio Gov. John Kasich's decision to loosen restrictions on residents who have a license to carry a concealed weapon in the Buckeye State is a big step forward for gun-rights advocates like Joe Eaton.

"The reality is is that concealed carry is now mainstream in Ohio," said Eaton, treasurer of a gun-advocacy group called Buckeye Firearms Association.

Late on Monday, Kasich signed Senate Bill 199 into law.

Eaton explained to WLWT investigator Todd Dykes what the new law means for licensed gun owners in Ohio.

"Private business owners or public entities can no longer restrict individuals with a concealed handgun license from storing their lawfully owned firearm in the car while they're at work or at the business."

The law, which takes effect in 90 days, also means licensed gun owners may be able to carry a concealed handgun into local government buildings and into day cares.

"You can now legally carry into some of the restricted areas, such as in the non-secure areas of airports, in day care centers, unless the day care center decides to post a sign just like any other business," Eaton said, pointing out private businesses will still be able to post signs prohibiting guns.

"Also, now colleges will have the ability to allow concealed carry by their students or staff should they choose to," Eaton added.

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Eaton thinks it's only a matter of time before students and professors with CCWs roam the halls of Ohio's institutions of higher education.

"We're going to see a lot of universities that are allowing the students and staff to make their own choices," Eaton said.

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In a statement, the Buckeye Firearms Association credited Ohio lawmakers Ron Maag of Lebanon and Joe Uecker of Miami Township for sponsoring the bills that formed the basis of the law Gov. Kasich signed.

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