Various News Outlets Reprinting AP Coverage of HB12 Passage

The Associated Press has published a story covering the March 12 events in the Ohio House: House passes new version of bill. This story contains several key quotes:

"Senate President Doug White, a Manchester Republican, said the Senate will try to reach a compromise that Taft and the House could support."

"He said he doesn't think he can pass a concealed weapons bill that requires drivers to keep weapons in locked boxes -- a provision the patrol says it needs before it can support the measure."

Versions of the AP story are expected to run in news outlets all over Ohio. Links to those stories, as well as others, will be provided here as the become available:

Ohio News Network Pt. 1

Ohio News Network Pt. 2

The original AP story is archived, and be viewed by clicking the "Read More..." link below.

House passes new version of bill

By JOHN McCARTHY
The Associated Press
3/13/03 12:43 AM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Supporters and opponents of a concealed weapons bill agree there is too much gun violence in Ohio's cities. They just don't agree on how to decrease it.

The House on Wednesday passed a new concealed weapons bill.

The 69-28 House vote fell mostly along lines reflecting representatives' constituents. The majority included members who represent rural and suburban areas. Opponents generally come from urban areas where gun violence is a bigger concern.

Rep. Edward Jerse, a Euclid Democrat and longtime opponent of concealed weapons, said Ohio's cities are violent enough without putting more guns on the streets.

"This (the bill's passage) is acceptance of a level of violence that is unacceptable," Jerse said.

Rep. Tom Brinkman, a Cincinnati Republican, tried to turn the argument around. He said homicide rates in Cincinnati have soared in the last two years and people need to carry guns to feel safe.

"Cincinnati is quickly becoming the murder capital of Ohio if not the nation," said Brinkman, who tried to amend the bill to make concealing weapons less restrictive.

The vote sent the bill to the Senate, which passed its own version of a concealed weapons bill last year. The House refused to agree with changes the Senate made, and the bill died at the end of the year.

Gov. Bob Taft, a Republican, has said he won't support the bill because it's opposed by law enforcement groups including the State Highway Patrol and the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Jim Aslanides, a Coshocton Republican, said he didn't agree with opponents' arguments that violent crime will increase if people are allowed to carry hidden guns.

Aslanides said law-abiding Ohioans should be allowed to carry concealed weapons, citing his own robbery at gunpoint as an example.

"I though it awful that he (the robber) was empowered because he had a gun and I didn't," Aslanides said.

He also said that if the Ohio Supreme Court should find the state's ban on concealed weapons unconstitutional, Ohio and Vermont would be the only states with virtually no restrictions on carrying hidden guns. The court is to hear arguments in a Hamilton County challenge of the ban on April 15.

Under Aslanides' bill, Ohioans who complete 12 hours of training and pass a criminal background check would be granted a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

Opponents said putting more guns on the streets wouldn't mean an increase in protection.

"This idea that we will be a safer society, in practical terms, is an illusion," said Rep. Tyrone Yates, a Cincinnati Democrat.

Brinkman offered an amendment was patterned after Vermont's statute.

"It is important that the people who need concealed weapons to protect themselves with the least hassle from the government," Brinkman said.

Rep. Bill Seitz, a fellow Cincinnati Republican, said Aslanides' bill was a better idea because it's patterned after laws in states surrounding Ohio.

"Ohio is not Vermont. We are trying to stay in step with the states that are our neighbors," Seitz said before getting Brinkman's amendment killed.

Senate President Doug White, a Manchester Republican, said the Senate will try to reach a compromise that Taft and the House could support.

He said he doesn't think he can pass a concealed weapons bill that requires drivers to keep weapons in locked boxes -- a provision the patrol says it needs before it can support the measure.

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