Guns & Ammo "Best States for Concealed Carry" shows Ohio legislators have a LOT of work to do

Although Republicans have been in control of the General Assembly and governor's mansion for the past 4 years, no pro-gun rights legislation has been sent to the governor's desk in 3.5 years. That lack of progress shows in the state's fall in Guns & Ammo's ranking of the Best Concealed Carry States from 39th in 2013 to 41st in 2014.

The 50 united States and Washington D.C. are ranked by Guns & Ammo on the following criteria:

  • Method of Issuance: Permitless/Unrestricted
  • Reciprocity
  • Training Time
  • Application Fee
  • Stand Your Ground/Castle Doctrine
  • “Best States for Gun Owners 2014”
  • Duty to Inform
  • Preemption of Home-Rule
  • Nonresident Permit Issuance

As Guns & Ammo notes, "merely declaring a state as having Right to Carry does not mean that all things are perfect. The devil is often in the details, and all CCW laws are most certainly not created equal."

Despite the fact that support for the Second Amendment enjoys prominence in the platform of a Republican party which has dominated state politics for much of the past two decades, Ohio ranks a dismal 41st, with Guns & Ammo noting that "folks carrying in Ohio have a duty to inform law enforcement that they are carrying, and permits are not issued to nonresidents. The 12-hour training requirement is not ideal, nor is the list of prohibited locations that includes churches and posted locations."

Although our concealed carry law passed its 10th anniversary earlier this year, Ohio ranks behind states like Nebraska (35), Kansas (22) and Wisconsin (9th), all of which passed laws more recently. Even Illinois, the last state in the Union to adopt concealed carry, thanks to the City of Chicago's domination of state politics, ranks only one spot below Ohio at 42nd.

Ohio also falls far behind all of its border states. Michigan, which passed concealed carry one year before Ohio, ranks 31st. West Virgina ranks 32nd, Pennsylvania is 15th, Indiana comes in 14th and Kentucky is ranked 11th.

If they have any hope of bringing the Buckeye State into the 21st century when it comes to gun rights, Ohio's pro-gun rights legislators have their work cut out for them. As mentioned earlier, no pro-gun legislation has been sent to the governor's desk since December 2012. While the Ohio House passed House Bill 203, an important concealed carry reform bill last year, the Ohio Senate has failed to act.

If legislators do not act, HB 203 and many other pro-gun bills that are pending will die at the end of December.

If you want to see the General Assembly act to improve gun rights in ways that are already enjoyed by the majority of other states, call your Representative and Senator NOW and ask them when pro-gun legislation is going to move in Ohio. They want your vote in November. Tell them we want their votes too.

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.

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