Ohio proposal would allow concealed carry without permit

Concealed carry changes?
Published: Apr. 8, 2015 at 3:40 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 8, 2015 at 3:48 AM EDT
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HAMILTON COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - Are you thinking about taking that concealed carry permit course in Ohio?

New proposed legislation introduced on Tuesday will allow almost any Ohio citizen to carry without a permit within the state.

Just last month, revised gun rules and regulations were signed into law including background checks and cutting concealed carry training course time. Ohio lawmakers are back at the table working on more.

"If you are legally allowed to carry a firearm - so, you're over the age of 21 for handguns, you don't have any felonies, all that stuff -then you're allowed to carry your firearm. Basically, we're trying to return to the second amendment," said State Representative Wes Retherford (R-Hamilton).

Retherford is a co-sponsor on House Bill 147.

"The founders were pretty clear that the second amendment should not be infringed on. I think Ohio's taking a right step in, at the very least, having this discussion," Retherford said.

Gun rights advocates agree.

"I think it would be great to see this become law in Ohio. But, unfortunately in the past, the Ohio legislature has not even been willing to allow a licensed person simple rights," said Joe Eaton with the Buckeye Firearms Association.

58,066 concealed carry licenses were issued in Ohio last year, according to Attorney General statistics. In 2013, nearly 39,000 more permits were issued, topping out at 96,972 new licenses issued for the year.

"Removing training and licensing requirements to carry a concealed gun, which is a dangerous weapon, would not make anyone safer," said Jennifer Thorne of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence.

Thorne tells FOX19 NOW she wants lawmakers to instead focus on what she calls "common sense" gun laws, such as background checks on all gun sales and laws that would prevent children's access to guns.

"We want to just make sure our that our legislature is doing better for Ohio instead of continuing to put Ohioans public safety at risk," Thorne told FOX19 NOW.

Rep. Retherford says an 8-hour course that's typically required for a permit likely wouldn't apply to this new concealed carry proposal.

It's only necessary for those applying for a permit.

The bill will soon be assigned to a committee to begin discussion.

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