Proposed Bill Could Allow Ohioans to Carry Concealed Weapon With No Training

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Columbus—A proposed House Bill could no longer require Ohioans to need a permit or training to carry a concealed firearm.

To acquire a concealed carry permit in Ohio, one must be twenty-one years old, complete an 8-hour gun-safety class, taught by a certified instructor, and pass a background check.

Now, Ohio residents can openly carry a firearm in public without a permit but in order to hide, or conceal it, he or she must have a permit.

The bill is sponsored by Republican House Representative Ron Hood and is backed by twenty co-sponsors, including Representative Tom Brinkman, who said the change is simple.

“Anyone [who] can legally purchase a handgun can carry it lawfully without a permit, so long it is visible or open carry. That legal protection changes once a person puts on a jacket that covers up the handgun. House Bill 152 simply allows that same legal gun owner to carry while wearing a jacket,” Brinkman said.

Another supporter of the bill is Kevin Sadeski, a certified concealed carry instructor at Armed2Defend. Located in Central Ohio, Armed2Defend is one of many places people can go to get the training required for a concealed carry permit.

Though House Bill 153 may negatively affect his business, Sadeski said he is a supporter of the proposal.

“Conceal carry becomes almost just like a market. What is the difference between concealed carry and open carry? There’s really no difference, I’m still carrying a loaded gun,” said Sadeski, who also noted that individuals should be able to chose his or her training.

“As an individual, you decide what kind of training you need. I think the training is really important but just like I can go to the store and buy a gun, I don’t need the training to buy a gun or to open carry.”

One student at Sadeski’s Armed2Defend class expressed opposition in fear that people would not understand the risks that come with handling a gun.

“I don’t see how that’s a good idea. If you don’t know how to use a gun and don’t have proper training on how to fire a gun and the safety of storing a gun, I think that’s dangerous,” Laura Terris said. “Anything you can learn about a gun is supper helpful and helps everybody else too, knowing what you’re doing.”

Jennifer Thorne, Executive Director of Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, said, “Our current permeating system is not nearly stringent enough, and they actually just reduced the training that is required. Now they’re trying to get rid of it completely. It’s completely unacceptable.”

According to a report by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, Ohio county sheriffs issued 58,066 new carry concealed licenses and 52,146 renewal licenses during the year of 2014.

So far, six states have passed similar legislation to House Bill 153.