State Representative Brian D. Hill (R-Zanesville) announced that House Bill 203, which reforms some of the state’s gun laws, passed out of the Ohio House with bipartisan support.

Among the changes in the bill is the requirement that Ohio recognize concealed handgun licenses from any state that recognizes Ohio’s concealed handgun licenses. Currently, Ohio only recognizes CCW licenses from states with which the state has a written reciprocity agreement.

Additionally, the bill brings Ohio in line with 28 other states that have what is commonly known as a “stand your ground” policy. Presently, Ohio operates under a “castle doctrine,” under which individuals are allowed to use deadly force to protect themselves if threatened in their homes or vehicles. Under HB 203, that right is extended to all locations where a person is legally permitted to carry a gun. Under that circumstance, the person firing the weapon must be able to prove that his or her life was in danger.

“House Bill 203 addresses several of our state’s gun laws and makes necessary changes to help make Ohio a safer place to live,” Hill said. “The bill was not about any one certain provision, but rather making multiple changes to Ohio’s existing gun laws. As a whole, I found this bill to be a strong piece of legislation.”

The bill also prohibits a person with a fifth-degree felony drug offense from getting a concealed carry license for at least 10 years. Anyone with multiple fifth-degree drug offenses is permanently prohibited from obtaining a license.

Having received bipartisan majority support in the House, the bill will now head to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

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