House Bill 12 receives second hearing in Senate committee

Representatives from Ohioans For Concealed Carry and OFCC PAC were on hand today at the Statehouse, as HB12 received it's second hearing in the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice.

A short summary of the hearing follows.

One representative each from the National Rifle Association and Ohioans For Concealed Carry testified, and answered questions before the committee.

An NRA spokesperson testified (consider all comments as paraphrased, not direct quotes!) that the 12 hours of training required under HB12 is "aggressive", and that no more is needed. The representative said NRA can support HB12 with 12 hours of training. The spokesperson also reminded Senators that the current law has been ruled unconstitutional.

In a welcome move, the NRA offered testimony on their position that the Ohio Highway Patrol's idea to ban CCW in cars would gut the bill.

Finally, and in response to a question about Ohio's affirmative defenses, the NRA spokesperson stated that the affirmative defenses are important, and should remain.

OFCC Spokesperson (and OFCC PAC Chairman) Jim Irvine testified about some of the specific concerns being offered about HB12 by anti-self-defense forces and the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. He spoke to the issue of why allowing businesses to ban firearms in private vehicles in their parking lots, and why adding new "victim zones", are both bad ideas. He also addressed the issues of training, pointing out that both Indiana and Pennsylvania require NO training to obtain a CCW permit (yet Cincy's murder rate is twice that of Indy, per capita).

Irvine spent about 30 minutes answering the committee's questions, which were focused mainly on the Ohio Chamber of Commerce's proposal to allow businesses to ban firearms from private vehicles in their parking lots.

URGENT! If you are pro-self-defense and an Ohio business owner (or if you know some who is), WE NEED YOUR HELP!

The Ohio Chamber of Commerce (normally known as a more conservative, pro-business lobbying group) is towing a Million Mom March line by inferring that CCW at work would create an OSHA* (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) concern, and are fighting for business' right to ban firearms in private vehicles in their parking lots (creating a defacto ban on self-defense to and from work or to their place of business).

In House debate on HB12, the Chamber successfully lobbied to give businesses immunity from lawsuits, either because they allowed CCW, or because they banned it. So now that they can't be held responsible for the consequences for making people defenseless, they are participating in the effort to ban concealed carry to and from work, or to any other places of business which choose to disallow firearms in private vehicles in their parking lots.

The Ohio Chamber of Commerce (AND your local Chamber) needs to hear from pro-self-defense business owners in Ohio. If you are a business owner or Ohio Chamber of Commerce member, please call them at 800-622-1893. Also, please call your local Chamber. If you are not in business, please encourage those you know who are to do so.

*Perhaps the Chamber should talk with their sister organizations in 35 other states, where businesses report NO problems with CCW. Or perhaps they should check with OSHA, as we did! Jeff Lewis, Safety and Occupational Health Manager, of Region 6 of OSHA, has told Ohioans For Concealed Carry that OSHA has no policy or the authority to regulate firearms in the workplace. Should an employer choose to allow firearms in the workplace, Lewis says, he would be under no violation of any OSHA regulation or guideline.

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