Proposed changes to Ohio's concealed handgun legislation may soon be made into law, easing some restrictions to renew a concealed handgun license, clarifying the definition of a loaded gun and acknowledging permit holder's rights across states lines. The amendment to Ohio's concealed weapons laws passed the Ohio House of Representatives this week with a 59-28 vote and will now move to the Ohio Senate for approval.
The bill, sponsored by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Buckeye Firearms Association, would loosen restrictions to allow a concealed weapon inside a permit holder's vehicle with a loaded magazine near the weapon and the weapon would not be considered loaded by the state's standards. Ohio's current law does not allow a magazine loaded with bullets inside the car but instead states that bullets must be kept in the trunk of the car. Firearm activists claim the current law does not make sense and creates confusion for Ohio gun permit holders who travel to other states as well as authorities in other states, since Ohio is the only state with this type of weapon's restriction.
If the bill passes the House, the magazine loaded with bullets will be allowed in the car, near the weapon, for permit holders. Changing the definition of a loaded weapon in this way would make Ohio concealed handgun laws more compatible to other states and could help lawmakers recognize Ohio permit-holder's rights in other states. The bill also seeks to amend the renew process of a concealed handgun licenses for current permit-holders in Ohio. Instead of having to demonstrate a competency requirement for a license renewal, applicants can forgo current competency course requirements and only need to provide proof of training to renew.
Some democratic policymakers fear the loosening of Ohio's concealed handgun laws will lead to more shootings and deaths. While changes to the legislation have recently passed in the House, the bill will likely to remain in the Senate until late this year since state lawmakers do not resume policy making until after their summer break. If these modifications pass the state senate, penalties associated with carrying a concealed handgun will see a change.
Currently, Ohioans may be charged with carrying a loaded weapon if they are accused of having a magazine with bullets inside the car along with the associated weapon. Someone accused of a firearm offense in Ohio can face charges varying from a minor misdemeanor with a fine of up to $150 to a Felony of the First Degree with prison sentencing anywhere from three to 10 years and fines up to $20,000, depending on the specific offense violated, whether the person possessed a concealed handgun license, had a previous criminal record, where the offense was committed and more.
If you or someone you know has been accused of or becomes charged with a firearm or other weapon charges in Columbus or another area in Ohio, it's important to create a defense for yourself or your friend that will protect the rights of the individual. No matter how series or minor you think the crime may be, any conviction may have several negative impacts on a person's life.
Preserve the opportunities for your future by talking to a criminal defense lawyer in your area who can help you determine the necessary steps someone must take to protect themselves. As a Columbus Gun Crimes Lawyer, I will fight for your rights. Call 614-444-1900 to schedule a free case consultation today. It may make a significant difference in your life.