Rep. Aslanides (R-94) Introduces HB12 - Concealed Carry Licensure

Rep. Jim Aslanides, a Republican from Coshocton, introduced HB12 on Tuesday, along with 55 bipartisan co-sponsors, that would allow citizens to carry concealed weapons.

"It's substantially similar to what the House passed in March," said Aslanides. "The changes are minor and were meant to make the bill a little bit better."

House Speaker Larry Householder said Tuesday that he expected the House to pass the measure without having to change it substantially. He noted that the House spent much of the past two years marking up the bill and held more than a dozen hearings on it.

"We'll get it out and get it in the Senate and we'll see how long they sit on it," Householder said. "It's just time to smack that on its way."

Commentary by Chad D. Baus: While we have not yet had time to review the language contained in this bill, we applaud the House's efforts to keep the issue of legal self-defense via concealed carry reform on the forefront.

If you wish to review read the bill for yourself:
Click here for to view HB12 on the House's Internet website.

Click here for a downloadable .pdf file.

Concealed weapons bill introduced again in House

By LIZ SIDOTI
The Associated Press
1/28/03 6:10 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The debate over whether Ohioans should be allowed to carry hidden guns began again Tuesday when a lawmaker revived a bill that had died at the end of last session after two years of work.

Rep. Jim Aslanides, a Republican from Coshocton, introduced the measure, along with 55 bipartisan co-sponsors, that would allow citizens who meet certain requirements to carry concealed weapons. The House and Senate passed such bills last year but the legislation died before the differences between the versions were ironed out.

"It's substantially similar to what the House passed in March," said Aslanides. "The changes are minor and were meant to make the bill a little bit better."

House Speaker Larry Householder and Senate President Doug White, both Republicans, have said the bill is not a priority this year because work must focus on fixing a $720 million hole in this year's budget and passing the next two-year budget.

However, Householder said Tuesday that he expected the House to pass the measure without having to change it substantially. He noted that the House spent much of the past two years marking up the bill and held more than a dozen hearings on it.

"We'll get it out and get it in the Senate and we'll see how long they sit on it," Householder said. "It's just time to smack that on its way."

Aslanides' bill would require sheriffs to issue permits to Ohioans who pass criminal background checks and successfully complete firearms training. This session's bill adds open-air arenas where alcohol is served to a list of places where concealed weapons would be prohibited. Other places on the list include schools, airport terminals and prisons.

The bill also specifies the number of training hours required, 12 to 15, for a permit, and increases the permit fee to $45 from $35.

Among the bill's biggest changes over the House-passed version last year is a "duty to declare" requirement. Motorists pulled over for traffic violations would be required to tell law enforcement officers if they are carrying a weapon.

Gov. Bob Taft says he will veto any bill while law enforcement remains opposed.

The State Highway Patrol objects to motorists being allowed to carry guns and isn't satisfied with the "duty to declare" clause," said Lt. Rick Fambro, a patrol spokesman.

"Our position has not changed," Fambro said. "We would like to think that everyone out there is law-abiding and would abide by that duty ... but that is not the case."

Jeff Garvas, president of Ohioans for Concealed Carry, said the organization has not yet reviewed Aslanides' latest bill.

However, he said the 12 to 15 hours of training seems like too much and the $45 cost too expensive.

Toby Hoover, director of Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, criticized lawmakers for introducing such a measure during an economic crisis.

"They ought to get their priorities straight and focus on health care and education instead of whether someone should be carrying a gun," Hoover said. "It's a futile attempt just to keep the gun issue in the news."

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