The Ohio House of Representatives today passed legislation that more clearly defines the requirements placed on concealed handgun licensees (CHL) and active duty military members when they are pulled over by law enforcement during a traffic stop.

Under House Bill 142, if during a traffic stop a law enforcement officer requests the driver’s license or state ID of a CHL holder who is carrying a concealed handgun, the CHL holder is required to also display his or her concealed handgun license or verbally inform the officer. The individual must also inform the officer that he or she is currently carrying a concealed handgun.

The same process applies to qualified military members, who under the same scenario must display their concealed handgun license or documents demonstrating that they are a qualified military member, while also disclosing the presence of a loaded handgun in the vehicle.

HB 142 is a bipartisan bill that simply clarifies current law, which vaguely requires CHL holders and active duty military members to “promptly” inform a law enforcement officer that they have a concealed handgun license and disclose possession of a concealed handgun. Therefore, current law is unclear when private citizens initiate the conversation about possessing a concealed handgun. This has led to vague interpretations, inconsistent enforcement and unnecessary punishments (currently first-degree misdemeanors) against otherwise law-abiding citizens.

“No other statute regarding concealed carry harms Ohioans more than the duty to notify,” said State Representative Scott Wiggam (R-Wooster), who joint-sponsored the legislation with Rep. Glenn W. Holmes (D-McDonald). “House Bill 142 clarifies the notification process and would ensure the state can no longer jail or disarm otherwise law-abiding Ohioans through the arbitrary enforcement of current law.”

The legislation also reduces the penalty for a violation of notification requirements to a minor misdemeanor and a fine of no greater than $25.

House Bill 142 now awaits consideration by the Ohio Senate.

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