Representative Adams introduces HB225: Alaska-style CCW
By Jim Irvine
Representative John Adams (R-78) of Sidney, Ohio has introduced HB225. The bill is substantially similar to HB559 from 2004 and HB91 from 2005, which were both sponsored by Representative Tom Brinkman. HB225 would repeal many of the onerous provisions of our current concealed carry law and allow law abiding citizens to carry concealed without a license.
Alaska-style CCW is an exciting possibility for gun owners in Ohio. It shows Rep. Adams is in touch with the most conservative of the gun owner base/constituency. It is an important philosophical position.
In the Rules and Reference committee, Representatives Jon Husted (R) Kevin DeWine (R) Larry Flowers (R) and Arlene Setzer (R) voted to refer HB225 to the Criminal Justice Committee. Joyce Beatty (D) objected and was joined by Joe Koziura (D) and Chris Redfern (D) voting against the referral. Redfern’s vote is of particular concern because he seems to have moved from a vote we could count on to one that has gone against us since he became Chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party.
Vermont and Alaska already allow citizens to carry concealed handguns without a license, but all other states require a license (CHL) to carry a concealed handgun. Like Alaska, this bill would leave the license in place so that people who travel outside Ohio can have a license to take advantage of the many states that already honor Ohio’s license.
One real benefit for Ohio may be eliminating the temporary emergency license (TEL). Someone needing a TEL would be able to carry instantly under this new bill, assuming they are under no firearms disability, for self-protection. This is the same rules as now, except they would not need to get to a sheriff office to obtain a license to defend their life.
TEL license numbers continue to be lower than expected. Some attribute the low numbers to low demand. Others think the process of going and applying for a license, sometimes an intimidating process for someone in a bad situation, is limiting numbers.
The bill would eliminate the requirement for training, which is sure to be controversial, but many states already issue licenses with no training. There have been no problems, including neighboring states Indiana and Pennsylvania.
Ohio is one of the few states requiring recurrent training. The requirements are confusing. Renewing a driver’s license or CHL consumes enough time and money, and anything that can reduce that burden is a good thing.
Let’s be completely frank about the training issue. The basic training required to obtain a CHL should be taught in every high school in the state as fundamental firearms safety, just like
DARE and sex education. The training requirements are fine for firearms safety. They do nothing to insure that the CHL holder is tactically capable with their handgun.
Case studies have shown that people are remarkably adaptable to grabbing a firearm and successfully defending themselves without any training. It happens so often it’s not even news.
The responsible gun-owner will continue to get training. Gun-owners are filling advanced training classes around Ohio and throughout the country. These advanced classes are not required, but are sought out by gun owners who are continually looking for ways to improve their knowledge, skills, and safety.
Businesses, like Lauhorner in Springfield or Blackwing in Delaware employ qualified trainers and offer classes. Local classes at sportsmen clubs and shooting ranges continue to be popular. Classes at Tactical Defense Institute (TDI) outside West Union continue to sell out. Reducing the training requirement will not reduce this demand, because the demand exceeds any state requirement.
The bill would repeal many state mandated victim zones. Most prominent may be college campuses and parking lots. Ohio campuses remain fertile ground for a Virginia Tech style shooting because Ohio has disarmed all teachers and students, even though such areas are often plagued by crime.
Even though this bill would make many desirable changes to Ohio’s concealed carry laws, it faces an uphill battle to become law.
Currently too few gun owners are engaged in the process of reforming Ohio’s laws. Because many gun owners are still unwilling to get personally involved, this bill is not likely to become law. The political reality is that big change in laws must be preceded by a change in involvement from gun owners.
Simple steps you can take to help the cause:
Does your club, range, and gun store hand out information about Buckeye Firearms?
Do instructors you know hand out Buckeye wallet cards?
Are members of clubs you belong to informed on firearms issues?
If not, talk to them about getting more involved. They saw an increase in business when concealed carry passed. Their success is directly related to the success of Buckeye Firearms Association. Help build a relationship that allows us to work together.
Reach out to non shooters. Take them shooting with you and make it fun for them.
If we could each recruit one new person, we would double in size. Repeat as necessary until the desired results have been obtained.
For other ideas, visit our Grassroots Action Guide.
Read the entire text of HB225 here.
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