Senate expected to vote on Restaurant & Car Carry Rules Fix (SB17) and Restoration of Rights (SB61) later today

Multiple Buckeye Firearms Association sources have confirmed that Ohio Senate Tom Niehaus is expected to bring both SB17 (Restaurant & Car Carry Rules Fix) and SB61 (Restoration of Rights) to a vote today.

The bills, which passed yesterday in the Senate Judiciary on Criminal Justice Committee, are essentially the same as bills which were passed in the Senate last session (SB239 and SB247).

Senate floor debate can be viewed here live beginning at 1:30 p.m.

From The Columbus Dispatch (the following was also picked up by the Associated Press and transmitted through hundreds of news outlets):

Supporters of the bill say it is necessary to allow permit-holders to protect themselves.

"These restrictions can and do serve to create victim zones where people must stand helplessly if a criminal chooses that day and place to commit violence," Ken Hanson of the Buckeye Firearms Association told committee members.

"The claim that alcohol and guns don't mix is an emotional red herring with a side of wild goose."

The bill also would remove restrictions on how permit-holders transport their weapons while driving. Under current law, guns must be carried in a holster, locked case or unlocked container in plain sight.

Supporters of the bill say that Ohio is among only three states with such restrictions.

Although similar bills (HB45 and HB54) have also been passed out of committee in the Ohio House, Speaker William Batchelder (R) has not yet scheduled them for a vote.

Given the expected ease of passage on these bills in the Senate (again), considering that the Ohio House approved a discharge petition in the last General Assembly in an attempt to force a floor vote on the Restaurant & Car Carry Rules Fixes, and given the fact that the number of pro-gun caucus members in the House increased in the past election, there is no question that these bills have the votes to pass. Multiple hearings have been held both in this session and in the last one. During his campaign, Governor Kasich expressed his support for a restaurant carry bill, and we are also encouraged by Republican legislators' assurances that he will sign these bills.

It is time for the Ohio House to bring these bills to a vote.

We've been working on this legislation for three years. Now it's time to ACT! We need to show OVERWHELMING support for these bills without delay.

Contact your Representative NOW and make it clear you want our bills passed with no bad amendments and no more waiting. This is URGENT.

CLICK HERE to send an email or call and make your voice heard.

We can't do this without you. We have to let our legislators in the House know that these are good bills for Ohio and we want them passed into law WITHOUT any restrictive amendments.

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Buckeye Firearms Association is a grassroots organization dedicated to defending and advancing the right of citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities, including self-defense, hunting, competition, and recreation. Read more.