[UPDATE!] Progress in Senate on pro-gun rights bills as end of session draws near
Editor's Note: Things are changing rapidly as work continues on legislation. This article has been updated as new information became available.
With as little as one week left in the legislative session, the Senate Civil Justice Committee took only minimal action Wednesday, December 3 on pro-gun legislation that has been pending for more than a year, but scheduled another hearing for Thursday, December 4 (today), at 9:30 a.m. as work continues.
While Committee Chairman Bill Coley (R-Liberty Twp.) had indicated that amendments and a vote were possible on Rep. Cheryl Grossman's (R-Grove City) HB 234 (Allow Noise Suppressors While Hunting) in Wednesday's hearing, no one offered testimony, no amendments were offered and no vote was taken. The bill was introduced in 2013 and passed the Ohio House in April 2014 by a 76-15 vote.
Likewise, although Chairman Coley had indicated that a vote was possible, no vote occurred on SB 338, Sen. Joe Uecker's (R-Miami Township) Concealed Carry Law Reform Bill. The committee did, however, approve an amendment which the Associated Press reports would exempt active military members over the age of 18 from the state's concealed handgun licensure law. The amendment was approved on a 5-1 vote with Senator Eric Kearney (D-Cincinnati) voting no.
With Senate President Keith Faber (R-Celina) being quoted in the media as saying he wants the Senate to be done with its lame-duck session by December 10, time is growing very, very short.
Buckeye Firearms Association is pleased to report that pro-gun rights legislation is expected to move in the Senate next week. We know from experience that even the most non-controversial changes become difficult when it relates to firearms. We thank the many legislators and interested parties for taking the time and putting in the effort to not just pass legislation, but to pass good legislation that will be good policy for Ohio.
Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, BFA PAC Vice Chairman, and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.