Now available: ''An Evening With Jim Petro'' streaming video
On March 4, this website published excerpts from an op-ed written by a person who attended a College Republicans event at the Ohio State University, where Attorney General and gubernatorial-hopeful Jim Petro was the keynote speaker.
At that meeting, Mr. Petro was asked about whether he supports reforming the concealed carry law in Ohio, and how he feels about the publishing of lists of concealed handgun license-holders in newspapers such as the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
It is important to note that his latest comments on making CHL-holder’s information public did not come in a vacuum. On January 9, 2005, the day the Media Access Loophole was signed into law by Governor Taft, NBC4Columbus reported that both Petro and Betty Montgomery said they believed the 'law did not go far enough in allowing public access to the lists of permit holders.'
"'They said they're afraid criminals will be able to find out who has guns and not mug them; that's a stretch,' Petro said."
More recently, after providing testimony in support of House Bill 9, the open records legislation being pushed by the Ohio Newspaper Association, Petro was questioned on his support for a proposal to amend HB9 to close the Media Access Loophole.
From the Dayton Daily News on March 3, 2005:
- [Petro] said there should be a "demonstrated need" before exceptions were made to the open records law. Reminded that in the past he had said concealed-carry records should be available not only to reporters, but to the public, Petro said, "I just kind of said the same thing again."
Mr. Petro was able to go into much greater detail as to his thoughts on the public records issue with the College Republicans. Recognizing that truncated quotes in news stories or op-eds do not provide the reader with the full context of a candidate's position, the op-ed writer promised to make available a video link of Mr. Petro's comments.
As promised, a video has now been made available, so that interested parties may hear for themselves his comments on the possibility of closing the Media Access Loophole, and on concealed carry reform efforts in general.
Click here to watch Petro's 51 minute appearance to the OSU College Republicans in RealAudio format. His comments on concealed carry reform begin at 23:50 minutes on counter, and continue through 28:00. (Slower connections may have better luck here.)
One thing that may jump out to viewers is Petro's use of the words "legitimate right" when describing concealed carry.
- ...We're about the forty-sixth state to finally recognize that this is a legitimate opportunity and a legitimate right for individuals," Petro told attendees.
These comments are significant in light of the criticism Mr. Petro drew last year when he referred to the right to bear arms for self-defense a "privilege" in the Ohio Concealed Carry Training Publication (.pdf), a publication which is required reading for all CHL applicants.
We have been extremely pleased with Attorney General Petro's administration of the concealed handgun license law, and encouraged by his recognition that changes need to be made to current law. We are interested in providing his campaign with whatever evidence necessary to prove a "demonstrated need" exists to prove that Ohio law should allow for law-abiding citizens to be able to protect their private, personal status as CHL-holders from the media and from the public in general.
To share your own thoughts, contact:
Citizens for Jim Petro
64 E. Broad St., Mezzanine Level
Columbus, OH 43215
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