CINCINNATI (WXIX) – Ohio’s “Permitless Carry” gun law goes into effect on June 13 after Gov. Mike DeWine signed the bill into law in March.
Ohioans 21 years old and older no longer need a permit or to complete the 8-hour handgun training course to carry and conceal a firearm. The law also eliminates requiring gun carriers to inform police officers that they have a concealed weapon on them.
“Public safety isn’t a partisan issue – we all want our communities to be safe from gun violence. Permitless concealed carry makes it exponentially harder for law enforcement to prevent gun crimes which, in turn, makes all of us less safe. And handing someone a gun without adequate training is a recipe for disaster,” Hamilton County Sheriff Charmaine McGuffey said during a press conference Monday.
Ohio Senator Terry Johnson (R-Batavia) sponsored Senate Bill 215 and urged legislatures to vote in favor of it.
“The open carry of firearms is already legal in Ohio, however, once an individual was to put on a sweatshirt or jacket without a concealed carry permit, they would be in violation of the law,” Johnson said to his colleagues prior to SB 215 passing. “Responsible gun owners should not be punished for lawfully practicing their constitutional rights.”
Safety is a question of concern to Dr. Pierre Atlas, Senior Lecturer at the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. According to Atlas, removing the mandatory permits and training in Ohio could increase the chances of “crimes of passion” with a firearm.
“It enables people who may not have been able to carry a handgun [before], who may be reckless, to get one,” Atlas said.
As a gun owner and member of the National Rifle Association, Atlas says that the gate-keeping process is appealing to him in terms of public safety. However, pre-meditated crimes, such as mass shootings, would happen with or without permit guidelines, he adds.
In one of his monthly columnist pieces in the Indianapolis Business Journal, Atlas compared mass shootings to the U.S.’s annual deaths from gun violence.
“Mass shootings account for only a small number of America’s 40,000 annual gun deaths, which are caused mostly by handguns,” he wrote.
In 2021, Ohio experienced 1,887 deaths to gun violence of which 868 of those deaths were homicidal and 984 were from suicidal cause, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
U.S. Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) and Democrats alike are not thrilled with the Ohio law, especially after the recent mass shootings in Buffalo, Uvalde and Tulsa.
“We live in a time when no place—not schools, grocery stores, hospitals, houses of worship, workplaces, movie theaters, or bars—is safe from mass murder,” said Ryan in a statement to legislatures. “It does not have to be this way.”
In 2019, DeWine pushed legislation to decrease gun violence after the Dayton shooting that left nine people dead and 17 wounded. DeWine proposed a series of potential laws that would strengthen background checks and improve mental health care. However, the legislation died in the House.
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