Two concealed carry bills to get second hearing

UPDATE - The December 15 hearing has been canceled. We will provide updates when another hearing is scheduled.

Chairwoman Linda Bolan (D-1) has scheduled HB203 and HB158 for second hearings on Tuesday, December 15 at 3:00 p.m. in Room 122 of the Ohio Statehouse.

HB203 would allow persons with a concealed handgun license to carry their firearms into any restaurant providing they are not, and do not become intoxicated. The bill is sponsored by Representatives Danny Bubp (R-88) and Jarrod Martin (R-70).

Ohio license holders have proven themselves to be responsible in the five plus years of concealed carry in Ohio, and decades more beyond our borders. There is no compelling reason to deny someone the right to carry a firearm based on what the person at the next table might be drinking.

Ohio's restriction on carrying in restaurants is more strict than any of our surrounding states and most of the country. Our laws need to be amended.

Currently it is a felony for license holders to carry a firearms into a restaurant if it has a license to sell alcohol for consumption on the premises, even if the license holder never drinks. That makes about as much sense as prohibiting persons from carrying car keys into the restaurant because the guy at the next table is having a beer with his burger.

H158 sponsored by Representative John Domenick (D-95) would waive the concealed carry license fee for firearms instructors. Currently, NRA and OPOTA certified firearms instructors must take a course and pay all applicable fees just like everyone else.

Persons wishing to testify in support of either of these bills should remember to limit testimony to approximately five minutes and provide 30 copies of the written testimony to the office of Chairwoman Bolon 24 hours prior to the meeting.

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