Ohio National Guard now allows members to carry firearms in the performance of their duties

It has never made sense that our soldiers carry full-auto rifles (firearms that actually are “assault weapons”) all over the world, but at home are denied the right to carry any firearm for personal protection. When a terrorist attacked our battle tested troops at Ft. Hood, our soldiers had to dial 911 and wait for the local police to show up and save them. This is a policy our president should have called insane.

But no changes were made, and higher-ups in our military continued to deny soldiers the right to carry a handgun, even as they gathered evidence that our military and their family might be targeted for attack in the United States.

In July of this year, there was an attack outside a military recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The killer then moved to a nearby Navy facility and shot seven more people including four Marines, one of whom died from his injuries. Governor Kasich and other governors across the country signed executive orders authorizing our National Guardsmen to carry weapons, but that didn’t really solve the problems.

The Ohio National Guard has now updated their policy and will allow Guard members to carry either federally-owned firearms, or their civilian firearms, in the performance of their duties, including at recruiting centers.

The change comes after months of discussions with legislators and others. Senators Larry Obhof, Joe Uecker, and Randy Gardner were all involved in working with the Adjutant General and encouraging the change in policy.

Senator Joe Uecker and Randy Gardner are also the sponsors of SB 199, a bill that would allow military members to obtain and carry firearms when not on duty. This is particularly a problem for members aged 18-21 who are not able to obtain a Concealed Handgun License (CHL).

All three men have been active supporters of our military and citizen’s right to carry firearms. We thank them for their leadership on these issues.

Senator Obhof released the following statement:

Obhof Applauds Ohio National Guard Security Changes

COLUMBUS—State Senator Larry Obhof (R-Medina) applauded the decision announced today to allow members of the Ohio National Guard to carry firearms in the performance of their duties, including at recruiting offices. The new policy is a response to security concerns in the wake of the deadly shooting at a marine recruiting center in Chattanooga this July.

"I am happy that the Adjutant General is taking the right steps to keep our troops safe while they serve our state," said Obhof. “I worked with leadership from the Guard and encouraged them to take action, and am pleased that their thoughtful process has resulted in a very sensible solution.”

The new policy will allow members of the Guard to carry either a federally owned firearm or their civilian firearms at Ohio National Guard facilities.

In addition to the new policy, several storefront recruiting offices that had been temporarily closed since July will be reopened.

Jim Irvine is the Buckeye Firearms Association President, BFA PAC Chairman and recipient of the NRA-ILA's 2011 "Jay M. Littlefield Volunteer of the Year Award," the CCRKBA's 2012 "Gun Rights Defender of the Year Award," and the SAF's 2015 "Defender of Freedom Award."

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