HB495 (Reciprocity & Concealed Carry Modernization) scheduled for hearing in House

Chairman Ron Maag as announced that there will be hearing proponent/opponent/interested party testimony on Representative Terry Johnson's (R-McDermott) HB495 next Tuesday, June 5 at 1:30 p.m. in Room 116 in the Statehouse.

HB495, also known as the reciprocity & concealed carry modernization bill makes three changes to current law:

  • Changes to automatically honor other states licenses, similar to a driver's license
  • Eliminates the "demonstrated competency" requirement for 2nd and future CHL renewals, making CHL training similar to a hunting license
  • Fixes the definition of a "loaded gun" to match the commonly accepted definition

This will be the second hearing for this important bill. This hearing is an opportunity for people and groups to speak in support or against the legislation. If you are interested in speaking, your testimony should be 3-5 minutes in length. You should submit 50 copies of your testimony in written form to Chairman Maag's office by noon on Monday, June 4.

Any persons who are interested in testifying are welcome to contact Jim Irvine @ [email protected] for help in preparing and coordinating your testimony.

It is also important for citizens to show support for the legislation by attending the hearing. You do not need to speak to attend, watch and listen. A strong presence shows support for the bill which is important. In a government of the people, it is important that people participate. This is the time to show up and be involved in your government and your rights.

HB495 also defines a "concealed handgun license" in one place rather than many places of the law as is currently done. This change eliminates hundreds of words to the code without making any material changes. This will make the law easier to read, understand, comply with and enforce; something that everyone should be in support of.

The changes to Ohio's reciprocity will enable people with an Ohio CHL to carry in more states. We will likely pick up the ability to carry in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Colorado and probably another 3-7 states. This is important for Ohioans who travel, especially the many who like to vacation in Florida.

The change will also allow those who live in Indiana and Pennsylvania and work or visit Ohio to carry concealed in our state. The Attorney General will still retain the ability to sign agreements with others states as in current law, but it will not require the agreement. This will reduce the workload of the AG office and align Ohio with the current trend toward similar legislation nationally.

The elimination of the demonstrated competency is not eliminating any training requirement. Ohio will still maintain a requirement for 12 hours of initial training, among the highest requirement nationally for a concealed handgun license. The elimination is simply for renewals, and is eliminating something that has never actually been done in over eight years of concealed carry, but will present problems going forward as there is no NRA or OPOTA class to deal with the requirement, which is not even defined in current law.

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