GOP Bill To Weaken Concealed Carry Protections Puts Public Safety In The Crosshairs
Legislation would allow concealed carry holders to knowingly bring deadly weapons to schools, airports
July 06, 2017
 
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In a political effort to hamstring Ohio House Democratic lawmakers in a pro-gun, anti-gun debate today on the House floor, Republicans brought forward House Bill (HB) 233 for a vote, legislation that allows concealed carry permit holders to knowingly bring guns or deadly weapons into daycares, schools, airports, bars and other restricted spaces, so long as the permit holder leaves when asked to do so. Individuals who refuse to leave or return to the same business while carrying a prohibited weapon within 30 days will be subject to a fourth degree misdemeanor.


“This isn’t just a solution looking for a problem, but it is creating a whole new set of public safety problems by overturning Ohio laws designed to keep us safe and secure,” said House Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton). “This will trample private property rights of business owners and create confusion in secure locations like airports, police stations, schools and daycares. As a gun owner and strong second amendment supporter, I think Ohioans deserve to feel safe and secure, free from the fear of intimidation or tragedies this bill could create,” added Strahorn.


HB 233 essentially eliminates any penalty for permit holders who knowingly carry a deadly weapon in a secure area if they leave the premises upon request.


“This bill will not keep our children and communities safe. In fact, it will trample on their right to be in safe public spaces that are deadly weapon-free,” said Minority Whip Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood). “This legislation is reckless, placing dangerous weapons over private property rights and public safety.”


The Violence Policy Center shows that facts don’t support Ohio Republicans’ political argument for loosening concealed carry protections in the state. Since 2007, the group has tracked at least 800 murders at the hands of concealed carry killers. The group also shows people with concealed carry permits have carried out at least 29 mass shootings since 2007.


The bill also modifies the list of places required to post signs notifying consumers of prohibited weapons. Under HB 233, daycares and certain government buildings are no longer encouraged to post prohibited weapon signage, and airports must alter their signage placement from the airport facility to passenger or screening checkpoints. 


“While the majority of Ohioans are law abiding citizens and responsible gun owners, there is always the possibility that a tragic event could happen in what should be our safest locations. This bill puts citizens and most importantly our children in harm’s way.” –Assistant Minority Leader Nick Celebrezze (D-Parma).


The bill now moves to the Senate for further consideration.


This is what other House Democratic lawmakers are saying about House Bill 233:


“Allowing people to knowingly bring a deadly weapon to our communities most vulnerable and high trafficked areas—like schools and daycares—will put people at risk,” said Assistant Minority Whip Emilia Sykes (D-Akron). “A concealed carry permit does not give blanket protection to people from committing criminal acts.”


“Americans value and enshrine in our constitution the right to manage weapons under our roof. This concept is enshrined in the 3rd Amendment, against the forced quartering of soldiers. For a young child in a daycare center, that center is essentially their home, and the caregivers are charged with protecting the children as if they were their own,” said Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo). “Under this bill, even private homes can be subject to knowing, purposeful trespass with a firearm. Whether it is a daycare, a restaurant or a shelter, the owners and managers have the right to set rules for how they will protect those in their care or under their roof.”


“As hard working taxpayers look to simply enjoy life, Statehouse Republicans have now added fear of deadly weapons to our otherwise peaceful coexistence.” –Rep. Tavia Galonski (D-Akron)


“I am deeply concerned that this esteemed legislative body is willing to stand by and put children’s lives in danger,” said Rep. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus). “I do support and fully understand the 2nd amendment, but there are serious long term implications of this bill that must be considered before acting erratically.”


“Any bill that will allow somebody to knowingly bring a concealed gun into a preschool is a bill that I cannot support,” said Rep. Thomas West (D-Canton). “This ‘concealed guns everywhere’ bill attacks the rights of businesses to make their own decisions and makes parents constantly question that their children are actually safe.”


“I am against this legislation as it flies in the face of common sense, and endangers our communities that are already grappling with the problem of gun violence,” said Rep. Catherine D. Ingram (D-Cincinnati). “We should be seeking solutions, not creating problems.”


“Current law already addresses the rare mistake that gun owners may unknowingly bring their weapons into gun-free zones,” said Rep. Glenn Holmes (D-McDonald). “This bill goes too far in relaxing the responsibilities of concealed carry permit holders with the confidence that, should they be caught, there will be little to no consequence as a result of their actions. As a concealed carry license holder myself, I believe this law undermines the culture of personal responsibility that many gun owners I know, myself included, strive every day to promote.”


“This bill places a dangerous precedent by allowing deadly weapons in daycares and schools and offers out-of-line protections for concealed gun holders” said Rep. Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland). “Public safety is a concern for all legislators, but this bill raises a higher public safety concern by seeking to protect gun owners more than our children.”

 
 
 
  
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