Ohio Concealed Carry Reform Measure Passes House, Heads to Senate
COLUMBUS, OH - HB 203, a bill that seeks to update Ohio's concealed carry program, has passed the Ohio House with a 62 to 27 vote, and will now be forwarded to the Ohio Senate for consideration.
HB 203 has significant support as shown by the overwhelming House vote. Buckeye Firearms Association and the NRA have both endorsed the legislation, which seeks to make many improvements to Ohio's concealed carry laws.
The bill would strengthen the background checks required to obtain an Ohio Concealed Handgun License (CHL). Under the bill, Ohio CHL applicants would need to pass a NICS-compliant background check (National Instant Check System), making it compatible with more states. This improvement will also help prevent people with mental health disqualifiers who have been entered into the federal database from obtaining a CHL.
The bill would also move Ohio to an automatic reciprocity system, relieving the Attorney General from the requirement to sign agreements with every state for reciprocity. The Attorney General would still be permitted to sign agreements if needed, but the bill seeks to streamline the process and open up agreements with states such as Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Georgia with which Ohio does not currently have agreements.
"Reciprocity remains a critical issue for people with a CHL," said Jim Irvine, President of Buckeye Firearms Association. "Background checks have been a hot topic since the Newtown killings, and ours has some issues that should be addressed. This bill makes sure people with disqualifying offenses are not issued CHL's. This is something everyone should be happy about."
The bill would also update the requirements and disqualifications to obtain an CHL. Currently there are different standards to possess a gun under federal and state law, and different still to obtain a CHL. HB 203 harmonizes Ohio law with federal law so that someone who is prohibited under federal law from possessing a firearm will not be issued a CHL. Ohio would also be able to issue licenses to out-of-state residents, something many other states already do.
Under the bill, required topics for Ohio CHL training would remain the same, but the arbitrary mandate that requires instructors to spend 12 hours covering those topics would be reduced to four hours. Most experienced instructors agree that the same training can be covered in less time.
"Ohio has one of the nation's most egregious CHL training requirements," said Irvine. "Other states have seen that more people get training when the time requirement is reduced. We are strong advocates of training and want to see more people become trained in the safe use of firearms. But padding the classes to fill 12 hours when the same information can be effectively covered in less time makes no sense.
"People are exhausted at the end of a long 12-hour day or at the end of two 6-hour days. They lose their concentration and stop learning at some point. By covering the same material in less time, we think applicants will learn and retain more information."
Finally, HB 203 seeks to modify the state's self-defense law. Current law specifically states that a person has no duty to retreat before using deadly force if that person is in he or her own home or automobile. HB 203 would expand that to anyplace that a person lawfully has the right to be.
"The law should not impose specific 'duties' on people whose lives are in jeopardy," observed Sean Maloney, a Cincinnati-area attorney specializing in self defense and firearm law. "It should protect the innocent and their right to defend their own life from criminal attack. The bill would not otherwise change the threshold to legally use lethal force in defending one's life."
Buckeye Firearms Association is dedicated to defending and advancing the right of Ohio citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities, including self-defense, hunting, competition, and recreation.
By: Buckeye Firearms Association
Feds consider new gun regs
The Obama administration is working on new gun control regulations that would target stolen and missing weapons.
Police have a hard time tracking firearms that disappear from gun shops, which “just feeds the sort of already large and existing secondary market on guns,” said Sam Hoover, a staff attorney with the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
It is unclear precisely what thedraft regulations, drawn up by theBureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) andunder review at the White House’s regulations office, would do.
The ATF would not comment on the draft rule, since it has not yet been released to the public, but a description provided by the White House asserts that it would target cases where guns go missing “in transit.”
Currently, gun dealers with a federal license are required to tell federal agents after they discover a firearm has gone missing, but they aren’t required to do routine checks.
“They can discover a gun missing today and have no idea when it went missing, which really makes that information useless to law enforcement,” said Chelsea Parsons, associate director of crime and firearms policy at the Center for American Progress.
The White House office has 90 days to review the proposed rule before releasing it to the public and allowing them to comment.
The draft rule was sent to the White House five months after the ATF completed a report that found that more than 190,000 firearms were estimated to have been lost or stolen last year. The report was one of 23 executive actions President Obama announced in January to reduce gun violence in the wake of last year’s shooting in Newtown, Conn.
That report helped to shine light on an often unseen corner of the gun market, supporters of stricter gun laws say.
“I think that in the area of guns and gun violence and gun commerce, we have had a complete lack of data and a lack of information,” said Parsons.
She wants the ATF to be able to take stronger action to monitor and track guns that go missing.
Since 2004, an appropriations rider has prevented the ATF from requiring gun dealers to do periodic checks. Gun rights advocates say that the measure protects innocent victims of crimes from punishment by the government.
By: Julia Hattem, The Hill
A Home From The Hunt™ Message For The Holidays: Be Safe
RALEIGH, N.C. - The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission's Home From The Hunt™ campaign reminds anyone planning a hunting trip during the holiday season to make safety the top priority.
"Thanksgiving and Christmas are traditional times for family and friends to go hunting," said Travis Casper, the state hunter education coordinator with the Wildlife Commission. "In the excitement of a holiday hunt, don't overlook the safety aspects. Make it a part of your planning. Stress the importance of everyone being careful."
Go back to basics - review hunter education training and equipment instructions.
Know the rules - read all applicable regulations before going afield.
Inspect all equipment - repair or replace equipment, especially tree stands, before use.
Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
Be certain of your target and what is beyond.
Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
Blaze orange that is visible from all sides must be worn when hunting bear, feral hogs, deer, rabbit, squirrel, grouse, pheasant or quail with a firearm. Hunters are also required to wear blaze orange while hunting with a bow on Sunday during the muzzleloader or gun season.
By: Shooting Wire