HB495 (Reciprocity & Concealed Carry Modernization) scheduled for possible vote in Senate committee

The Senate Judiciary Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Mark Wagoner (a previous BFA endorsee), has scheduled HB495, sponsored by Representative Terry Johnson (R-McDermott), for a third hearing on Tuesday, December 11 at 3:00 p.m. in the Senate Building's North Hearing Room.

HB495, also known as the reciprocity & concealed carry modernization bill makes three changes to current law:

  • Changes to automatically honor other states' licenses, similar to a driver's license.
  • Eliminates the "demonstrated competency" requirement for second and future CHL renewals, making CHL training similar to a hunting license.
  • Fixes the definition of a "loaded gun" to match the commonly accepted definition.

Chairman Wagoner has indicated that possible amendments and a vote are possible.

Buckeye Firearms Association will again be testifying in support of the bill.

HB495 is designed to reform Ohio concealed carry law to protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners and continue a trend toward making Ohio law similar to other states.

The bill, which has already been passed by the House passed in the House by a 59 - 28 margin, defines a "concealed handgun license" in one place rather than many places of the law as is currently done. This change eliminates hundreds of words to the code without making any material changes. This will make the law easier to read, understand, comply with and enforce; something that everyone should support.

The changes to Ohio's reciprocity will enable people with an Ohio CHL to carry in more states. We will likely pick up the ability to carry in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Colorado and probably another 3-7 states. This is important for Ohioans who travel, especially the many who like to vacation in Florida.

The change will also allow those who live in Indiana and Pennsylvania and work or visit Ohio to carry concealed in our state. The Attorney General will still retain the ability to sign agreements with others states as in current law, but it will not require the agreement. This will reduce the workload of the AG office and align Ohio with the current trend toward similar legislation nationally.

The elimination of the demonstrated competency is not eliminating any training requirement. Ohio will still maintain a requirement for 12 hours of initial training, among the highest requirement nationally for a concealed handgun license. The elimination is simply for renewals, and addresses a looming problem caused by the fact that there is no NRA or OPOTA class to deal with the requirement, which is not even defined in current law.

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