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Ohio Senate Signs Off On Dropping Concealed Carry Permit Requirement

guns on display in a gun store
Seth Perlman
Associated Press

The Ohio Senate passed a bill eliminating the requirement to get training and a license to carry a concealed firearm in the state.

Supporters of the bill said it is a better reflection of constitutional rights while opponents argue it will lead to more gun violence.

While Ohio is an open-carry state, people cannot carry a concealed weapon unless they get a license which includes eight hours of training.

The Ohio Senate bill, SB215, does away with that requirement. This is also known as "permitless carry" or "constitutional carry."

Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) said the state's constitutional protection to bear arms doesn't say anything about training. He adds that this won't impact gun violence.

"If they're committing crimes they're not going to say 'oh, now I don't have to have a permit, before I had to have a permit.' It's a different mindset," Huffman said.

But Senate Democrats, police groups and gun control advocates all voiced opposition to the bill. They said removing the required training on what to do when carrying a concealed weapon will lead to more violence.

"This bill is a good example of fixing a problem that does not exist while at the same time making other problems much worse," says Sen. Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati) who adds that the current license system helped weed out people who should not be allowed to carry a concealed firearm.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.