SB 199 (Active Duty Armed Forces Concealed Carry/ Handgun Transfer) passes Senate and is moving through the Ohio House

Last week, Senate Bill 199 passed the Ohio Senate 32-0 and moved to the House. Senator Joe Uecker (R) will give sponsor testimony in the House tomorrow.

SB 199 is a simple bill. It allows our active duty military to carry firearms while home on leave.

Military members have long been people who obtained CHL's (Concealed Handgun Licenses) and carried, but members who are 18-20 years old are prohibited from obtaining a license. Police under the age of 21 are permitted to carry handguns. SB 199 will allow military members who have been trained to do the same thing.

Before the vote, I joked with Senator Uecker that his bill should receive unanimous support. In this day of partisan divide, neither of us really expected it. But when the votes were cast, every member in attendance voted for the bill. If this bill is important to you, we ask that you contact your Senator and thank them for their vote on this bill. This is especially important if your Senator is not generally "pro-gun."

You can find your State Senator's information here. (NOTE - Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman are NOT your State Senators)

Tomorrow's hearing in the State Government committee will be at 2:30, or after session in room 121 in the Statehouse. Chairman Ron Maag (R) will hear sponsor testimony on SB 199 along with hearings on four other bills.

Following is Senator Uecker's press release:

Ohio Senate Passes Legislation That Would Help Protect Our Military Men and Women While at Home

COLUMBUS—State Senator Joe Uecker (R-Miami Township) this week announced the Senate passage of legislation allowing active-duty service members with the appropriate military firearm training to legally possess a concealed firearm in Ohio.

"This bill recognizes the extensive firearm instruction that service men and women undergo during military training," said Uecker. "We must ensure that our military members have the necessary resources to protect themselves without subjecting them to burdensome and redundant credentialing."

The legislation stemmed from a situation in which a constituent who served in the U.S. Armed Forces was barred from legally carrying a handgun because he was too young to apply for a CCW permit. Senate Bill 199 offers the opportunity for any active member of the military to carry a concealed handgun following the completion of specified military training.

“If we trust our men and women in uniform to defend and protect America overseas, we must give them the right to protect themselves and their families when they come home,” said Senator Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green) who jointly sponsored the legislation.

Senate Bill 199 allows active-duty military personnel to carry concealed handguns if the member is carrying valid military identification and documentation indicating successful small arms qualifications, even if they do not have a concealed handgun license.

Senate Bill 199 will now be sent to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

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Jim Irvine is President of the Buckeye Firearms Association. He is also 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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