Expanded Concealed-Carry Law Takes Effect in Ohio

Ohio Senate Bill 199 took effect March 21, allowing Buckeye State residents with concealed-carry permits to carry guns in many places where it was previously illegal. This includes the unsecured areas of airports, notably the drop-off locations and certain baggage areas.

SB 199, passed in the wake of the November 2016 terror attack at the University of Ohio, also allows permit holders to carry firearms in daycare facilities. Concealed carry on college campuses is still prohibited, however.

But colleges in Ohio can authorize certain individuals or groups to carry firearms on campus. Similarly, private daycare centers can prohibit concealed carry by posting “no guns” signs.

The new law also allows employees to store firearms and ammunition in their cars while at work, and makes it illegal for businesses to ban handguns from company property such as parking lots.

Supporters of the law believe it allows people to exercise their Second Amendment rights as well as defend themselves as they travel to and from work.

Sean Maloney, Buckeye Firearms Association
Sean Maloney, Buckeye Firearms Association

“Think about how dangerous it is with us in the parking lot, arming and disarming ourselves, with people in the parking lot watching that happen, with kids potentially in the backseat of the car, and us leaving a firearm in there,” Sean Maloney, an attorney with the Buckeye Firearms Association, told NBC4i.com.

One of the bill’s sponsors in the Ohio House says that SB 199 upholds personal freedoms.

“I don’t think your employer could tell you, you couldn’t have a Bible in your car,” former State Rep. Ron Maag, R-Salem Twp., told The Dayton Daily News. “It’s the same thing,” added Maag, who sponsored a CCW gun bill in the House that is part of SB 199. “The person who has gone through CCW training is a very conscientious person and the last thing they want to do is jeopardize their right to protect themselves.”

However, the bill’s final version did see some provisions dialed back. It does not include a hotly debated Senate committee-approved plan that would have allowed CCW holders to carry weapons into libraries, city halls, recreation centers and other public buildings, unless those facilities and/or jurisdictions installed security screening equipment.

Another provision could have given state civil rights “protected class” status to CCW holders. That designation was strongly opposed by businesses in Ohio, and the state’s Chamber of Commerce and was dropped.

“Our opposition to [the provision] has nothing to do with anything an employee may or may not do with the firearm. It has to do with the firearm coming onto the property at all,” Don Boyd, director of labor and legal affairs for the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, told The Dayton Daily News.”Many believe property rights are just as important as other constitutional rights.” — by Peter Suciu, contributor, Texas & U.S. Law Shield blog

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