Last year, two pro-2nd amendment bills with broad support died before receiving a vote on the House floor. The bills had enough bipartisan support to pass, and were supported by then-Governor Strickland, who promised to sign them. However, anti-gun Democrat Speaker Armond Budish refused to let the bills advance to the floor.
Now that both the Ohio House and Senate are under GOP control, similar bills have already been introduced and are being heard in committee.
One of the bills, known as “restaurant carry”, allows concealed handgun license (CHL) holders to carry their weapons into restaurants that serve alcohol, as long they do not not consume any alcohol. Currently, citizens who carry for their and their families’ protection have to disarm if they go to a restaurant such as Pizza Hut or Applebees, even if they don’t consume any alcohol. Almost every other state that issues CHLs allows carry in alcohol-serving establishments. The bill also corrects Ohio’s confusing rules about how CHL holders must carry the weapons in a motor vehicle.
In the House, the bill is HB 45, sponsored by Danny Bubp (R-88) and Terry Johnson (R-89).
There is a similar bill, SB17, in the Senate, sponsored by Tim Schaffer (R-31).
Another issue is bringing Ohio in compliance with federal law to provide for the restoration of firearm rights to individuals. That is being address by SB61, Jason Wilson (D-30).
Governor Kasich has been widely criticized by gun rights groups for his support of the Clinton era “assualt weapons ban” in the mid-90s. However, Republican lawmakers have said that they have assurances that Kasich would sign the bills, should they reach his desk. Given the bipartisan support the bills still have, its really a question of when that happens, not if.
If you care about 2nd amendment Constitutional rights in Ohio, please contact your state representative and state Senator and ask them to support these bills.
The bills are supported by the NRA, Buckeye Firearms Association and Ohioans for Concealed Carry.