Ohio Senate Passed Very Poorly Amended HB274 -- Vote: 20 - 11
THE LEGISLATION PASSED THE OHIO SENATE - The Vote Was 20 - 11
Senator Jeff Jacobson began speaking on behalf of Substitute HB274 shortly after 4pm today. After giving a rather lack luster performance that could be paraphased as: "nobody is happy with this bill but we did what the cops and the administration wanted" the Senator sat down.
Amendments were offered by Senator Fingerhut, a well-known opponent of Concealed Carry Reform, to make the bill even worse, and all failed.
Information on who voted yea, and who nay, will be made available on our website. Further updates as information becomes available.
We have posted a downloadable version of Substitute HB274, as PASSED by the Senate, on our website. Click here to access the downloads section, or click on the Downloads link in the menu bar at the top of the website.
If the Ohio General Assembly does not pass HB274 because the Ohio House refuses to return to deal with the poorly amended HB274, or if the Ohio House votes not to accept a Senate version, then House Bill 274 will die as we know it -- the legislation will simply no longer exist as a bill.
Technically, the House and Senate have until December 31st to complete this process under the Ohio Constitution. However, the Ohio House adjourned Friday, December 6th, and we should not be surprised if the Ohio House refuses to return -- They did their job over eight months ago, they shouldn't have to return.
In the likely event this legislation does not become law, we still have a bright future before us. While we will obviously miss a great opportunity to pass the House's version of HB274 into law, Ohioans For Concealed Carry is already poised to utilize existing relationships with members of both the House and Senate -- in an effort to work on concealed carry reform as quickly as possible.
More importantly, if the Ohio Legislature simply refuses to pass concealed carry reform, the Ohio Supreme Court would have no opportunity to weaken a favorable ruling by suggesting that "the legislature has acted to remedy" the complaints of the plaintiffs, putting us in a position to put serious pressure on the Ohio Legislature should the court simply declare the law unconstitutional and simultaneously prevent future enforcement of it (virtually creating a Vermont state of mind).
Finally, if the House does pass the amended HB274 as it left the Senate, Governor Bob Taft could very likely veto the legislation instead of letting it become law. If that was to happen, both chambers of the Ohio Legislature would need to return and override his veto. Although it is not impossible, it is unlikely that Senator Finan, who is retiring as President of the Ohio Senate, would return and make his final move the override of the Governor's veto.
An Associated Press reporter recently asked OFCC President Jeff Garvas "What makes you so sure about this lawsuit?". His response: "Well, we didn't just have one judge rule in our favor. We had a unanimous ruling from a three judge appeals court who went a step further than the lower court, and the law wasn't just ruled unconstitutional on gun rights, they also found flaws in the equal protection and due process aspects of the Ohio Constitution. These are serious charges that we've won unanimously, and we didn't appeal this, we're not on the defensive, the other side is. We feel very strongly about the merits of this case" (paraphrased)