Amended Substitute HB12 passes Senate, moves to conference committee
The Ohio Senate followed up yesterday's surprise committee passage of Sub. HB12 with a floor vote today.
House Bill 12 passed with a 22-10 Senate vote.
The first amendment was proposed by Sen. Ray Miller (D, Columbus). While addressing his amendment, Miller offered the typical warnings of blood in the streets, and mentioned anecdotal stories about children who are dying in Columbus, and pointed out that "young people are already better armed than police". He seems oblivious to the fact that this is all happening while CCW is banned. The amendment was tabled 22-9.
Senator Austria offered the second amendment. Creates an affirmative defense in a motor vehicle for someone who has been granted a restraining order. The amendment passed. NOTE: under current law, EVERYONE enjoys
affirmative defenses in a motor vehicle. If this bill becomes law as written, it'll only a precious few who are allowed to claim an affirmative defense to a charge of carrying a firearm in a motor vehicle. All others will be prosecuted with a felony charge.
Senators Austria, Herington and Jordan spoke in support.
- Senator Herington sat on the committee, and expressed complete support for the bill.
- Sen. Jordan is also strongly pro-self-defense, and he raised serious concerns with the Taft's demands that concealed carry be banned in vehicles which contain minor children, and with legislators who would think they know more than parents. He expressed hope that this would be fixed in conference committee.
- Sen. Austria chaired the committee which considered HB12. He noted that his kids couldn't be trusted with a gun on the seat, and expressed his belief that his committee had done a good job of balancing both sides concerns.
- Senators Fingerhut, Hagan, and Wachtmann spoke in opposition.
- Sen. Fingerhut is anti-self-defense, and ranted the usual blood in the streets arguments.
- Sen. Hagan told Senators he likes all the restrictions, because he sees it "making it almost impossible for anyone" to carry a gun. He said he had learned a lot about this issue from watching Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine" documentary.
- Sen. Wachtmann is strongly pro-self-defense, and opposes the amended bill for the same reasons OFCC does. Wachtmann noted that many of the added restrictions are as the result of the Governor's fear of the boogie man. He told Senators it is bad policy to legislate restrictions to answer the fears of the boogie man. He also pointed out that the bill creates the likelihood that criminals will profile women with children in the car, knowing they are defenseless. Wachtmann said a bad bill is not better than passing no bill.
Ohioans For Concealed Carry has informed the Senate of its formal opposition to amended Sub. HB12. In it's current form, the bill is no longer recognizable as concealed carry reform legislation.
What will happen now remains to be seen:
The amended bill is, in almost all respects, identical to the one passed by the Senate last December, and for which the Ohio House refused to reconvene for a vote of concurrence.
We urge concerned citizens to call their House Representatives to express their concerns with amended Sub. HB12. Concerns might also be expressed to the Ohio Republican Party, since the bill is being destroyed at the hand of that party's highest officer-holder.
Click here to hear Senate debate on HB12 (Real Audio stream)