Submitted by cbaus on November 20, 2013 - 3:35pm.
[Editor's Note: This article will be updated as additional information becomes available.]
Concealed Carry Law Reform Bill Closer to Governor's Signature
COLUMBUS, OH - HB 203, a bill that seeks to update Ohio's concealed carry program, has passed the Ohio House with a 62 - 27 vote, and will now be forwarded to the Ohio Senate for consideration.
HB 203 has significant support as shown by the overwhelming House vote. Buckeye Firearms Association and the NRA have both endorsed the legislation, which seeks to make many improvements to Ohio's concealed carry laws.
The bill would strengthen the background checks required to obtain an Ohio Concealed Handgun License (CHL). Under the bill, Ohio CHL applicants would need to pass a NICS-compliant background check (National Instant Check System), making it compatible with more states. This improvement will also help prevent people with mental health disqualifiers who have been entered into the federal database from obtaining a CHL.
The bill would also move Ohio to an automatic reciprocity system, relieving the Attorney General from the requirement to sign agreements with every state for reciprocity. The Attorney General would still be permitted to sign agreements if needed, but the bill seeks to streamline the process and open up agreements with states such as Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Georgia with which Ohio does not currently have agreements.
"Reciprocity remains a critical issue for people with a CHL," said Jim Irvine, President of Buckeye Firearms Association. "Background checks have been a hot topic since the Newtown killings, and ours has some issues that should be addressed. This bill makes sure people with disqualifying offenses are not issued CHL's. This is something everyone should be happy about."
The bill would also update the requirements and disqualifications to obtain an CHL. Currently there are different standards to possess a gun under federal and state law, and different still to obtain a CHL. HB 203 harmonizes Ohio law with federal law so that someone who is prohibited under federal law from possessing a firearm will not be issued a CHL. Ohio would also be able to issue licenses to out-of-state residents, something many other states already do. >>more from bfa<<