Marietta Times: House set to approve HB12
Dismissing arguments that more guns will lead to more crime and shootings, the Ohio House of Representatives is set to approve legislation that would allow people to carry concealed weapons.
If the bill passes both the House and Senate, the legislation would allow Ohioans to apply for permits to carry concealed weapons, which is generating debate around the state.
As long as Ohio Highway Patrol and police chiefs' organizations oppose the legislation, Ohio Gov. Bob Taft has vowed to veto the bill.
"It really upsets me that Taft would do that after he said he was for this," said concealed weapon supporter Ryan Alloway, manager of Riverside American Gun Shop, on Marietta's west side.
"The guys with the guns they are all worried about aren't the ones who are going to be affected by this," Alloway said. "Criminals are still going to carry weapons regardless of what the law says, because they're criminals."
Washington County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Larry Mincks agrees.
"As long as certain restrictions are addressed, I support concealed carry," Mincks said.
Ohio Rep. Nancy Hollister, R-Marietta, said 44 other states permit concealed carry, and there is no reason Ohio shouldn't as well.
"There is no information that depicts problems in the states that have concealed carry," Hollister said.
Asked about Taft's promise to veto the bill, Ohio Rep. Jimmy Stewart (R-Athens) said it would be "ridiculous" of Taft to do so.
"Not all law enforcement agencies are against this," he said. "The sheriff's offices and many local FOP chapters support this bill. It is only the departments in urban areas and the Highway Patrol, which Taft controls, who are against it."
The Ohio Supreme Court will hear arguments next month that the state's current law banning concealed carry is unconstitutional. That means if Taft does veto the legislation, the ban still could be lifted.