Letter to the Editor: Concealed carry should not be banned in vehicles

The Zanesville Times-Recorder has printed a letter to the editor by OFCC PAC vice chairman Chad Baus, which addresses the Ohio Highway Patrol's opposition to self-defense in a vehicle.

The letter can be viewed on the Times Recorder website, or by clicking on the "Read More..." link below.

House Bill 12, a concealed carry law reform bill, will soon be passed by the Ohio House, and will be presented to the Senate for consideration.

Nationally, the trend is toward restoring more rights for law-abiding citizens, because it has been found to reduce crime.

It is unfortunate that Ohio continues to lag so far behind.

It is incumbent upon the Senate to ensure that HB 12 becomes a law that will protect the maximum number if innocent lives and stand up to Constitutional challenge. We are calling upon the Senate to refuse any requests from the Governor's office or the Highway Patrol to deny Ohioans their constitutional rights to self-defense by banning license-holders from having their firearms ready-at-hand in a vehicle.

The Taft/OHP concern about license-holders presenting a danger to officers at traffic stops is, quite plainly, a fear-based myth. There has never been a case of a concealed carry license-holder shooting an officer during a traffic stop - not even once in the history of legal CCW in 43 states. On the other hand, there have been hundreds of documented cases of license-holders coming to the aid of an officer.

Ohioans for Concealed Carry PAC has provided the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice a compilation of many such accounts, which document the ways in which reforming the concealed carry law in our state will increase the safety of our law enforcement officers. We have also provided the committee a compilation of accounts of Ohio carjackings, including a comparison to attempted carjackings in other states.

The Taft/OHP proposal would negatively influence both citizen and officer safety, and would result in further needless loss of life among both groups.

Any request from the Governor and the OHP to ban CCW in vehicles should be met with a strict demand for proof that a detrimental safety issue exists. Before any consideration of their proposal, the Senate should demand that Taft provide examples of problems with license-holders at traffic stops from the 43 states that allow concealed carry. They should demand a justifiable reason for allowing criminals to prey on helpless Ohio drivers. Their demands will be met with silence, because no such proof exists.

If adopted, this language would subject the new law to immediate court challenge. HB 12's sponsor, Rep. Jim Aslanides is urging the Senate to pass a bill that would be acceptable under the Constitution, and not worry so much about a veto threat from Taft. The current Ohio law, which prevents self-defense with a concealed firearm, has already been judged unconstitutional by five judges and three separate courts.

Ohioans For Concealed Carry's goal is the same as Rep. Aslanides', Rep. Latta's, and all of the nearly 60 percent of the House that co-sponsored HB 12: to pass a law that will stand up to Constitutional challenge, and that will result in reduction of the loss of innocent Ohioans' lives.

Chad D. Baus
Archbold, OH

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