A month of concealed carry
By Jim Irvine
It has been one month since HB347 went into effect, eliminating the need to carry your holstered firearm in "plain sight" in a motor
vehicle. That simple change still brings a smile to my face every time I get in a car.
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When it took until mid-December to complete the veto-override required to make HB347 law, I had concerns that we would be enjoying warm weather and would not truly appreciate the benefits of concealed carry for many more months. Given Ohio's cold temperatures the past few weeks, I am still wearing a jacket and enjoying our new law.
How nice it is to be able keep my jacket zipped up, fasten my seatbelt and not have to wonder if I was in compliance with the law. How nice that I don't have to re-cover my gun as I exit my
vehicle and remember to uncover it every time I get back in.
With warm weather just around the corner, many people will soon be
riding their motorcycles. Bikers may now carry their firearm underneath
their leathers where it is secure. They are no longer required to
carry it in the open, which has caused "man with a gun" calls from people who don't realize state law required that they carry the gun in
the open. No longer do riders have to wonder where their gun will go
if they need to lay down their bike. The "plain sight" provision
proved to be a problem in many more ways than we ever imagined, and
never did anything to assist officer safety.
People riding public transportation are no longer required to expose
their firearms when boarding a bus. Commuters and visitors coming up
from Kentucky are no longer required to adjust how their weapon is
carried as they cross the Ohio River.
I've finally been able to carry my small revolver in a pocket holster
in my pants pocket. I had of course carried like this in several
other states, but it was not legal in Ohio until last month. This
will be really nice as shorts become the normal clothing.
While it's difficult to "prove" a negative, it is important to note
that NONE of the dire predictions of the OHP, FOP, or the
anti-self-defense zealot's have come true. No officers have been
shot by license holders. As we have known for years, the concealed handgun license holder is not the threat police need to be concerned about.
As John Lott
said, "Even for lawmakers, predictions must eventually
matter. If legislators can't see that these laws have failed to
deliver as promised, it's hard to know when facts will make a difference."
Hopefully as time goes on, those opposed to improving our laws become
irrelevant. Certainly they should have used all their credibility by
now. How many times can you be completely wrong and still have
anyone care what you say?
While we enjoy our improved law, it's important to note that Ohio
still has very onerous transportation laws. What is legal and safe
for license holders in other states is still considered a felony in
Ohio. Even things that are legal for non licensed citizens in
other states are felonies in Ohio. Make sure you are aware of all
restrictions and fully compliant with Ohio's laws. It's important to
stay out of trouble while we continue our work to reform our laws.
Thank you to all those who helped pass this important
legislation. Without strong grassroots support we would still be
doing the "Buckeye tuck" every time we drive. With your continued
support, we will continue to eliminate bad law.
Jim Irvine is the Chairman of Buckeye Firearms Association.