COLUMBUS – The Ohio House of Representatives passed a major second amendment bill Wednesday that expand the ability of law-abiding Ohioans to protect themselves and their loved ones.
Under the measure, House Bill 227, will allow individuals 21 or older and can legally possess handgun to carry a handgun concealed for any lawful purpose with no additional licenses, fees or paperwork.
State Representative Scott Wiggam (R-Wayne County), who voted in favor of the bill, said the plan is the result of extensive deliberation, including work with the National Rifle Association and Buckeye Firearms Association. The measure is good for Ohio, he added.
“The far left believe there’s always a reason, always an excuse to infringe upon and curtail the freedoms of law-abiding Americans. I fundamentally disagree,” said Wiggam. “I have consistently fought to protect our constitutional rights, including our right under the second amendment. This bill is a victory for freedom.”
The bill does not eliminate Ohio’s concealed handgun permit system, but rather makes it optional. Ohioans who wish to obtain a permit would still be able to do so. Ohio will also retain its reciprocity with other states, but in order for an Ohioan to carry a concealed weapon in those states they must obtain a concealed carry permit.
The bill maintains current law and does not require churches to identify themselves as “soft target” by posting “no concealed carry” signs. The legislation leaves the decision of who can carry in a church to those that oversee the church.
H.B 227 will also require an individual to notify law enforcement if the person is carrying a concealed handgun when asked by an officer.
Wiggam also showed his support for House Bill 99. The legislation will enhances school safety measures by enabling school districts to have local control of training requirements for arming teachers.
“House Bill 99 is potentially life-saving legislation,” said Wiggam. “We are seeing schools being targeted by those that have no regard for human life. This bill will give teachers the resource they need to help save the lives of our children.”
Under the bill, a school employee must complete concealed carry permit training in order to carry a firearm on school premises. Current law requires school employees to complete peace officer training, which is over 750 hours. In addition to the CCW training requirement, school boards have the ability to determine any further requirements necessary for employees.
Both bills will now head to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.