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DeWine signs bill changing Ohio's concealed carry requirements

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Posted at 6:30 PM, Mar 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-15 11:14:01-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio's concealed carry requirements will be eliminated after Gov. Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 215, or the Constitutional Carry Bill, into law Monday.

The bill makes concealed handgun licenses optional, meaning the only reason a person 21 or older could not carry a concealed weapon in Ohio would be if state or federal law prohibits them from having a weapon. Ohioans were previously required to pass a background check and show proof of eight hours of training before obtaining their license.

Under the new law, people with concealed weapons will not be required to 'promptly' inform officers they are carrying a concealed weapon during a stop.

Dean Rieck with the Buckeye Firearms Association called the signing a "great moment for Ohio and for those who wish to more fully exercise their Constitutional right to keep and bear arms," but some local leaders like Hamilton County Sheriff Charmaine McGuffey have spoken out against the bill.

"What this (bill) represents in my mind, honestly, is lawlessness...it represents the wild, wild west," McGuffey said in February. "It puts our officer at risk. It puts one more layer onto what could be a very stressful situation for the officer."

Mike Weinman, director of Governmental Affairs at the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio, also mentioned his concerns about eliminating the permit process. Weinman said the background check, which was required every five years to renew a license, helped disqualify people who should not be carrying guns.

"It's just remarkable how many people who started out law-abiding had their concealed carry (and) got disqualified for doing something they shouldn't be doing," Weinman said.

According to a report by Attorney General Dave Yost, county sheriffs issued more than 200,000 licenses last year. Nearly 3,000 were denied and 420 were revoked for issues like mental incompetence or felony conviction.

The changes will go into effect June 13, 91 days after signing.

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