The Ohio House today passed House Bill 203, which reforms some of the state’s gun laws, by a bipartisan vote of 62-27.

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.

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.

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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