Sub H.B. 347 Introduced (DETAILED SUMMARY)

On March 7, 2006 the House Criminal Justice Committee was presented Substitute H.B. 347, concealed carry reform. The substitute bill was the result of strenuous efforts by Rep. Aslanides and gun rights groups to address concerns of interested parties while still maintaining as much of the original bill as possible. While many, diverse interests were “at the table” during this process, the substitute bill is still very favorable to gun owners.

Download Substitute HB347 HERE

Click on the "Read More..." link below for complete details.

Two amendments were adopted in committee, one specified that illegal aliens CANNOT get a CHL. The other amendment was a small tweak to the zoning language in the preemption portion of the bill.

Sub H.B. 347 as it changes current law

The following summary is for people who want the “bottom line” version of how the Substitute Bill will change current concealed carry law.

  • All local firearms laws are preempted.
  • “Peace Officers” are given the ability to carry a concealed handgun with very few restrictions.
  • FBI criminal records are checked if a paper fingerprint card is submitted as part of the CHL application process.
  • Licenses are good for 5 years versus the current 4 years. The application fee is increased on the exact same cost basis “per year.”
  • Sealed or expunged records do not disqualify an applicant for a CHL.
  • CHLs may apply to renew their licenses up to 90 days prior to expiration.
  • Sheriffs must accept normal CHL applications at least 15 hours per week.
  • Sheriffs must accept TEL applications during normal business hours.
  • The requirements for carrying a handgun in plain sight in a car are removed. This is for both the holster provision and the case provision.
  • A safe-harbor provision is added to allow a gun owner to surrender their firearm to someone else if the gun owner has consumed an alcoholic beverage, and law enforcement officers are no longer allowed to drive a car with a handgun while they are intoxicated.
  • The penalty for illegal possession of a loaded handgun in a car is increased from a fifth degree felony to a fourth degree felony, and the penalty for failing to promptly notify a LEO during a stop is increased from a fourth degree misdemeanor to a third degree misdemeanor.

    (To view the original summary about HB347 as introduced, click here.)

    Sub H.B. 347 as it modifies the original bill as introduced

    The following summary is for people who want to know how the original H.B. 347 is changed by Sub. H.B. 347. The SUMMARY provision is an editorial comment by the author ONLY and not a policy statement by Buckeye Firearms.

  • The explicit affirmative defenses of self-defense for using a handgun in self-defense from a vessel or motor vehicle are removed. Note: Most statutes do not contain an explicit affirmative defenses. The Ohio gun owner can claim self-defense as an affirmative defense to any applicable criminal charge, regardless of whether it is explicitly listed or not. SUMMARY: No loss to the Ohio gun owner.
  • The preemption language is significantly improved, including a mandatory attorney fee provision for anyone that challenges a local gun control ordinance and wins. This is a critical improvement, because it is expected some municipalities will not voluntarily acknowledge that their firearm laws are no longer valid. At the same time, the provision allowing local zoning of gun stores is dramatically improved in an effort to head off any attempt by a municipality to zone gun stores out of existence. SUMMARY: This is a benefit to the Ohio gun owner.
  • The definition of “loaded” firearm is removed. This was a very important provision of H.B. 347 to end the “bullet in the range bag” convictions for Ohio gun owners. The Highway Patrol was never able to articulate why allowing law abiding gun owners a 100% legal method of transporting a firearm endangered them. This provision needs to be added back in on the Senate side, and Senator Padgett, the Senate sponsor and Lt. Governor candidate of Jim Petro, has expressed strong support for adding this provision back in. Violating these “loaded” provisions is almost always charged as a Felony. SUMMARY: This is a loss to the Ohio gun owner. This provision needs to be added back in and finally end the madness of trying to transport a firearm in Ohio. This is not a ccw issue, it is an issue for all gun owners.
  • The media access loophole fix has been removed. It is rumored that this provision will instead be addressed in a public records bill to be introduced in the near future. SUMMARY: This is a loss to the Ohio gun owner IF IT IS NOT INTRODUCED AS PART OF THE PUBLIC RECORDS BILL. We understand the need for political compromise as part of the process. We don’t understand why stalkers have to have this state-mandated tool to find their victims. SUMMARY: This is a loss to the Ohio gun owner.
  • BCI Investigators are not considered peace officers, but still enjoy the benefit of 24/7 LEO carry. This change was inserted at the insistence of the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association and has no impact on the Ohio gun owner. A cynic would say their objection to this provision was based upon the change allowing BCI officers to be eligible to run for Sheriff and bringing them within the same retirement system as deputy sheriffs. This change allows BCI investigators to enjoy 24/7 while still not expanding the pool of people who can run for office as Sheriff. SUMMARY: The Ohio gun owner is not impacted by this provision unless a favorite BCI Investigator was going to run as a candidate for Sheriff.
  • Sealed or expunged convictions are no longer a disqualification for a CHL. Common sense finally prevails, and the loophole that has snared innocent applicants is finally closed. If the applicant has already gone back before a court through the whole expungement/sealing process, Ohio will finally give full faith and credit to the court’s decision and honor the expungement/sealing. SUMMARY: This is a benefit to the Ohio gun owner, and a victory for common sense.
  • Sheriff’s offices must accept CHL applications at least 15 hours per week. The BSSA objected to the 40 hour provision in H.B. 347 on the grounds that many departments simply cannot meet this provision. BSSA fully acknowledged that several Sheriffs were using appointment hours to artificially suppress applications. We know from personal experience that the BSSA has been a very strong ally for concealed carry in Ohio, and we also know that quite a few departments are under extraordinary budget constraints. This change is a legitimate accommodation so long as Sheriffs that currently accept applications more than 15 hours per week do not take this as a reason to cut back hours. SUMMARY: This is a net benefit to Ohio gun owners. This is an example of how politics is supposed to work.
  • The penalty for having a loaded handgun in a motor vehicle is increased from a fifth degree felony to a fourth degree felony. For the average gun owner in Ohio, they will never notice the difference. Both a fifth degree felony and a fourth degree felony, in Ohio, carry a presumption against prison. The theoretical increase in penalty will never come into play for a CHL, given their lack of criminal record. This is a feel-good provision only that will not impact the law-abiding gun owner in Ohio. This is a political statement of the Highway Patrol only. SUMMARY: Neutral impact on the Ohio gun owner.
  • During a traffic stop, current law requires you to notify the police officer you are a license holder and you are carrying a loaded handgun in the car. The penalty for failing to do this is increased from a fourth degree misdemeanor to a third degree misdemeanor. For the average gun owner in Ohio, they will never notice the difference. The theoretical penalty will go from 30 to 60 days in jail and from a $250 fine to $500. As always, the big threat with any misdemeanor is the Judge can put you on probation for up to 5 years, and, as a condition of probation, prohibit you from having any firearm. SUMMARY: Neutral impact on the Ohio gun owner.
  • Current law allows a police officer to carry a firearm in a car while intoxicated. This is eliminated in the substitute bill. Additionally, a gun owner who goes out and has a few drinks is now provided a way to surrender their firearm to a sober person to drive them home. This is something to be encouraged, and the law is structured to encourage this result. SUMMARY: This is a benefit to Ohio gun owners.
  • The provision requiring that you be a U.S. citizen to apply for a license has been removed.

    Related Story:
    Buckeye Firearms Association Endorses HB347, Sweeping Firearms Law Reform Bill

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