I wish I had better news to share with you.
Hundreds and hundreds of gun owners like you across the state rained call after call and email after email on the Federalism Committee.
Seven of the thirteen members of the committee signed on as cosponsors of the bill, H.B. 201.
And Constitutional Carry has exploded from a measly four states back in 2010 to now over a dozen!
Our neighbors in the West Virginia legislature passed it, and then even hoofed it back to their capitol to boot-stomp it past their anti-gun governor’s veto.
Just this June, our neighbors up in the Michigan House passed it too!
But despite all our efforts, Web, and despite all this momentum, the House Federalism Committee punted at yesterday’s committee meeting.
Instead of voting the bill out of committee and sending it to the House for a full vote, they instead held another hearing to give witnesses another opportunity to testify against the bill.
And there’s a reason why, but it isn’t particularly good.
You see, several members of the committee are taking issue with what “disqualifies” someone from carrying under Constitutional Carry.
Right now there are twelve states that have Constitutional Carry.
We’ve looked up ten of the twelve Constitutional Carry states so far, and they ALL use the federal prohibited persons standard to decide who can or can’t carry under Constitutional Carry.
What this means in those states is if you are able to purchase a firearm under federal law and don’t have any issues that flag you as “prohibited,” you’re free to carry without a permit.
And it is working out so well in these states:
► Zero increase in violent crime – they usually plummet!
► Zero increase in accidental shootings – trainers report an INCREASE in demand for training because of all the new carriers!
► Zero increase in vigilante justice or “OK Corral” type scenarios.
The reason why is because law-abiding gun owners CONTINUE to be law-abiding gun owners, regardless of a state law mandating that they be law-abiding!
Despite the proven track record of these other states, several members of the Federalism committee instead wish to adopt the Ohio Concealed Handgun License requirements.
To be clear, H.B. 201 as written leaves intact the Ohio CHL requirements.
Constitutional Carry has always been defined as making the permit system optional – not mandatory – for those who want one for reciprocity purposes.
And for those who don’t want an Ohio CHL and only wish to carry in Ohio, the current federal prohibitions cast a pretty broad net to disqualify certain people:
– People with a domestic violence conviction
– People under a domestic violence protection order
– People adjudicated mentally defective
– People who have been committed to a mental institution
– People charged with an “Unclassified Felony” under Ohio law
– People charged with a First Degree Felony under Ohio law
– People charged with a Second Degree Felony under Ohio law
So people even charged – let alone convicted – with murder, rape, kidnapping, or manslaughter in the attempt of a felony, for example, are already prohibited from carrying firearms.
And there are more.
But under the far more restrictive Ohio Concealed Handgun License prohibitions, if you’ve ever even so much as received a misdemeanor drug charge from smoking pot as a dumb teenager, you’re out of luck!
Keep in mind that people can already purchase firearms and open carry in Ohio under the federal prohibited persons standard!
In fact, making the Ohio CHL requirements apply to Constitutional Carry wouldn’t even prevent someone disqualified under the CHL prohibitions from buying a firearm – they just wouldn’t be able to carry it legally!
Of course, everyone knows that if a thug wants to murder someone, a law prohibiting them from carrying a legally purchased firearm isn’t going to do a darn thing.
That’s why their failure to pass H.B. 201 out of committee yesterday is unacceptable.
I’m just as disappointed as you are, but I’d be lying if I said I was shocked.
Getting major legislation like this passed into law isn’t easy.
But bumps in the road like this are opportunities that we intend to take full advantage of.
Our plans to get H.B. 201 out of the Federalism Committee before summer break will just have to go on hold for a few weeks!
In the meantime, we’ve got plenty of work to do on this House Federalism Committee, and we’re ready to roll up our sleeves and get the job done.
Gun politics and the fight to pass major pro-gun overhauls to our Second Amendment laws here in Ohio is a numbers game.
And instead of hundreds and hundreds of gun owners like you contacting your state representatives, we need to mobilize thousands and thousands!
It’s only because of the outpouring of support from people like you that we’ve made it this far, Web.
In fact, today was the fourth hearing on our Constitutional Carry bill.
Constitutional Carry has been introduced in the Ohio Statehouse since 1995, but it has never made it this far in the process before!
But with Ohio Gun Owners’ members and supporters getting mobilized, organized and vocalized, we’re already seeing what can be accomplished.
That’s why I hope you’ll consider making a contribution of whatever amount you can afford right away.
Whether that is $1,000 or $10 or somewhere in between, whatever amount you can afford is greatly appreciated and will be put into immediate use growing the resources we need to push this issue successfully!
Ohio Gun Owners
P.S. The House Federalism Committee didn’t pass H.B. 201 before summer break like we wanted in yesterday’s committee meeting.
But with select committee members wanting to weaken the bill before it even leaves committee, we need to take advantage of the remaining summer break to make sure that doesn’t happen!
We’ll have an action alert in your email inboxes in a couple of days, but in the mean time won’t you please consider making a contribution to Ohio Gun Owners?