House Committee Passes HB 227 Constitutional Carry Bill
On Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021, the Ohio House Government Oversight Committee approved Substitute House Bill 227 and passed it out of committee on a party line vote of 8 to 4. If it becomes law, this would make Ohio the 22nd state to allow people to carry a concealed firearm without a license.
Specifically, the bill would make licensing optional. Those who still wish to acquire a license can still do so. This provision preserves reciprocity agreements with other states that allow Ohio residents to carry concealed when they travel. For those who do not wish to apply for a CHL, anyone 21 years of age or older may carry as long as they are not otherwise prohibited by law.
HB 227 also addresses one of the more confusing aspects of Ohio gun law, the so-called "duty to inform." Under current law, a person encountering law enforcement must "promptly" notify an officer that they are carrying. The word "promptly" has been interpreted differently by various police agencies and prosecutors, leaving gun owners in a vulnerable position, even when they believe they have complied with the law.
Ohio is one of only nine states to put the burden of notification on the person carrying a firearm. HB 227 removes the ambiguity of current law by clarifying that a person must notify an officer only when asked during a stop.
Buckeye Firearms Association (BFA) has worked extensively with the House Government Oversight Committee, including Chairman Shane Wilkin, to secure the votes necessary to send the bill to the full House for consideration.
Similar legislation is being considered in the Ohio Senate. Senate Bill 215, sponsored by Senator Terry Johnson, has received two hearings before the Senate Veterans and Public Safety Committee.
"The best part about HB 227 is its clear-cut simplicity," explained BFA Executive Director Dean Rieck. "Under HB 227, anywhere you can currently carry with a license, you will be able to carry without one. This clarity should allow for quick approval by the full House."
BFA encourages you to contact your state representative and urge them to vote YES on HB 227 when it comes up for a vote on the floor of the House.
Also, we've been talking extensively about Constitutional Carry on our podcast, Keep and Bear Radio.Click to listen: