Ohio's restaurant & car carry law in effect for two months, but where is the carnage?

By Jim Irvine

It has been two months since concealed carry in restaurants became law in Ohio and onerous car carry rules were removed. Once again the anti-gun editorial boards and fear mongers were wrong. Carrying a "hidden gun," as the "guns in bars" -types like to call it, is proving to be no more dangerous than the "hidden" car keys carried by the same person in the same establishment.

It was a long hard fight for such a common sense law, but it was worth it. In the first month of the new law I left my gun in my car in more secure locations than my glove box, which is probably the first place a criminal would look for something valuable. On a long drive I moved the holstered gun off my person and wedged the holster between my front seats. While the improvement in comfort justifies the move in its own right, there are also tactical advantages. The seat-belt was no longer an issue for drawing the gun. And as we move into winter when jackets become normal wear, that is another layer that must be cleared to deploy a gun from a car. Holstered on your person is great much of the time, but not always.

The downside, of course, is that the gun is not secure in a rollover or other serious accident. But neither is a gun stored in a glove box or center console. One solution is to permanently affix a holster to your car. Then you have a secure gun ready, but not encumbered. Taken to the next step, you could buy a designated car gun that is left in your car, but careful consideration needs to be given to the security of your car. This may work great for someone who parks in a locked garage and a secure area at work, but not for someone who leaves the car outside and unprotected.

I have gone to dinner while armed. While I enjoy a good beer, it was no great burden to drink water with my dinner. It opens up many new places to meet and dine now that I need only concern myself with what I have consumed rather than which business has what license to serve other guests.

While carrying, I have attended political events where alcohol was served. I talked with friends and discussed ideas. I'm sure some of my friends guessed I was carrying, but most probably neither knew nor cared that I was armed.

It was wonderful walking out to my car knowing that, if attacked, I could defend myself. It was comforting to know that my gun was secure and that no criminal had the opportunity to steal it from my car. That should make everyone happy. Lastly, it eliminated handling the gun to disarm and rearm, thus eliminating two chances for a negligent discharge, again something everyone should be happy about.

One person told me it was the most influential improvement to our concealed carry law to him personally. He is a professional who meets with others on a daily basis. The old law was an impediment to him carrying armed and many days he would be forced to leave his gun at home or in the car. Under the new law he can now don his gun with his pants in the morning and remove them when he goes to bed. It allows him to carry all day, every day. And it means more good guys carrying more guns in more places. That is not something everybody likes, but it would be if they understood criminal/victim interactions.

Jim Irvine is the Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman.

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