“I keep hearing about Constitutional Carry and this House Bill 178. What is it, and exactly how does it restore our Second Amendment Rights?”
We get questions like that every single day from gun owners, whether they just signed up for our emails or whether they just followed us on our Facebook page.
That’s why I thought I’d take a moment here to explain what Constitutional Carry is and why we need it here in Ohio!
Constitutional Carry is the simple idea that if you’re legally able to own a firearm, you’re legally able to carry one for self-defense.
No government permission, no taxes and fees, and no name being entered in a government database like a sex offender just to exercise your Second Amendment Rights.
Constitutional Carry would make the current license system optional for those who wish to get or renew a CHL for purposes of reciprocity.
Family vacations, out-of-state employment, travel to see family – depending on the state you’re visiting, your CHL might still be necessary.
Those are the big things that Constitutional Carry accomplishes.
But there are a couple of other things that House Bill 178 (HB178) accomplishes that are very important:
① ➜➜ It changes Ohio’s Concealed Handgun License to a Concealed Weapons License.
Right now in Ohio, it is illegal to carry a simple pocket knife as a self-defense tool.
When asked by law-enforcement about your knife, if you don’t declare it to be a utilitarian tool (“here’s my mail opener, officer”), you are open to a weapons charge.
In fact, you could strap on a dozen handguns and be perfectly legal, but if you carry a knife for “self-defense,” the knife could land you in a pair of handcuffs.
HB178 would change the current CHL to a CWL so that law-abiding Ohioans can carry whatever unrestricted weapon they choose for self-defense.
And lest you forget, criminals do the same thing to carry out their attacks.
② ➜➜ HB 178 removes the “duty to notify” an officer that you’re carrying a weapon.
Thirty-five states do not have a “duty to notify,” including all of our surrounding states except Michigan.
Myriad law enforcement officers we’ve talked with have told us that they support this change because criminals never notify them they are carrying weapons.
In fact, our LEO members on the front lines of fighting crime tell us that real cops treat every encounter with the assumption the person they are interacting with have a gun anyway.
And nothing in HB178 prevents an officer from asking whether or not someone is carrying a firearm anyway!
The fact is, no other right requires a lawful citizen to state that they are exercising their rights.
③ ➜➜ HB178 applies to residents AND non-residents.
Thirteen of the sixteen states that have passed Constitutional Carry recognize the right of residents and non-residents to do so.
In the states of Wyoming, Idaho and North Dakota, the gun rights community has been working hard ever since they passed their bad versions of Constitutional Carry to fix their screwups to include non-residents!
West Virginia and Kentucky are both Constitutional Carry states now. And law-abiding gun owners are the best citizens in America, bar none.
The last thing we want is for Ohio to help create a patchwork of Constitutional Carry laws, where great citizens from other states can’t exercise their right to Constitutional Carry in Ohio!
So those are some of the wonderful things Constitutional Carry does.
But it’s important to remember there’s things Constitutional Carry doesn’t do.
Constitutional Carry doesn’t allow violent criminals to legally carry a firearm if they’ve been adjudicated otherwise by the courts under the Federal prohibited persons standard.
Just because a license is no longer needed to legally carry a firearm, it doesn’t allow hardened criminals to legally carry firearms to commit crime!
Carrying a firearm during the commission of a crime is still a punishable offense, just as it is now.
Of course, you and I both know that violent criminals ignore these laws anyway, but the crime would be the same whether they have a license or not.
It’s also important to note that Constitutional Carry deals specifically with removing the licensure of carrying a firearm, not the locations where a firearm may be carried.
We’re adamantly opposed to “gun-free zones” and want them to be completely gutted and repealed, but we’ll be addressing that issue in separate legislation.
Of course, the very idea of Ohio becoming a Constitutional Carry state makes gun-grabbers seethe with rage!
We’re under constant bombardment with quotes like “if you need a license to drive a car, you need to license the Second Amendment!”
Here’s another: “gun owners should be forced to pass a police qualification course before they’re allowed to take a firearm out in public!”
We love training. In fact, we view firearms training like a can of Pringles potato chips… you can’t stop at just one.
We believe that firearms training is a lifelong responsibility that gun owners owe to themselves and each other.
And it turns out that there doesn’t need to be a state mandate for gun owners to understand this.
In fact, firearms trainers in Idaho reported an INCREASE in the demand for training after passing their weak version of Constitutional Carry because gun owners go get training regardless of a state mandate to do so!
Here’s another objection: “if you folks get your way and pass Constitutional Carry there’ll be gun-violence and blood in the streets, and their blood will be on you.”
But as you and I both know, their bloviating just doesn’t pass muster!
After all, Constitutional Carry is current law in SIXTEEN states!
And in spite of the dire predictions of increases in vigilante justice, violent crime or accidental shootings, those states enjoy some of the lowest crime rates per capita in the country.
In fact, the state of Vermont, which has NEVER regulated the carrying of firearms for self-defense, usually has THE lowest crime rates in the country!
Constitutional Carry isn’t a novel concept anymore.
It’s on the move in the legislatures of Utah, Michigan, Georgia, Iowa and many many more.
And that’s AFTER it passed South Dakota, Oklahoma and Kentucky since late January!
The fact is, Constitutional Carry is plain old common sense.
Criminals don’t ask permission to carry guns.
Constitutional Carry just levels the playing field between the criminal and the law-abiding citizen and restores the ability for real Americans to provide for their own defense in the seconds that matter the most!
Remember that in states where Constitutional Carry is already law, there has been zero increase in violent crime, zero increase in vigilante justice, and zero increase in accidental shootings.
House Bill 178 by Representatives Ron Hood and Tom Brinkman will be introduced to the House Federalism Committee tomorrow morning for sponsor testimony!
Constitutional Carry is a beautiful restoration of our firearm rights.
But as we gear up for the committee process, if we’re going to be successful at pushing it through we’re going to need YOUR help.
We need gun owners in every corner of Ohio to jump in on this fight, and we need them by the thousands.
And if you can, please chip in whatever amount you can afford to help fund our efforts to expand the army of gun owners engaged in this fight.
Lastly, please forward this email on to your family and friends so that they know what Constitutional Carry is – and is not!
Bloomberg’s machine is gearing up for a nasty war to try to kill this wonderful legislation, and we cannot afford to let their lies go unchallenged.
Ohio Gun Owners