Legislative leaders are pumping the brakes on a bill that would allow Ohioans to carry concealed weapons without training or a permit.
A planned vote on the measure in the House Federalism Committee was delayed on Wednesday, said Chairman John Becker, R-Cincinnati, and House Speaker Larry Householder, R-Glenford, said he expects House Bill 178 will receive additional hearings in another committee later this year.
House Bill 178 is the subject of intense support and opposition from both sides of the gun rights debate.
State records show nearly 685,000 Ohioans hold permits to carry concealed weapons. Getting a permit requires taking an eight hour training class from a certified instructor, not be addicted to controlled substances and passing a background check.
House Bill 178 seeks to allow adults to carry concealed weapons without the training or background checks — as long as they aren’t disqualified from owning a firearm under other laws.
“I support the law. While I believe everyone should be trained and learn the law, I can’t find anything in the 2nd Amendment that says pay a fee, get fingerprinted, get photographed before a woman being stalked by her boyfriend can put a gun in her purse to protect herself,” said state Rep. Kyle Koehler, R-Springfield, a member of the federalism committee.
Becker said he supports the bill because it’ll allow Ohioans to “practice constitutional rights anonymously” — without government requirements.
Since Ohio’s concealed carry law first took effect in 2004, lawmakers have expanded where permit holders are allowed to carry their hidden firearms to include bars and restaurants, day care centers and college campuses if trustees permit it. Lawmakers also reduced CCW permit training hours from 12 to eight.
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