PDT Staff Writer
State Representative Terry Johnson (R-McDermott) has announced that the Ohio House of Representatives passed House Bill 495, legislation that authorizes the automatic validity in Ohio of a concealed handgun license issued by another state as long as that jurisdiction recognizes Ohio’s license without the need for a reciprocity agreement.
“This is absolutely a good idea,” Dave Page, owner of The Gun Store, 3164 Gallia St., in Portsmouth, said. “If you’re going on vacation, things like that, with this bill passed, your would be able to carry your gun in states you travel through with no problem, and that would be of benefit.”
Current law requires the Attorney General to negotiate reciprocity agreements with other states if the other state had eligibility requirements similar to Ohio’s licensure requirements. H.B. 495 will eliminate that requirement, and instead authorizes the Attorney General to determine if another state automatically recognizes Ohio concealed carry licenses without written reciprocity agreements.
In addition to clarifying reciprocity across state lines, this legislation updates the definition of a loaded gun in an automobile to reflect that a magazine containing ammunition must be inserted in the firearm for the gun to be considered loaded. Currently, a gun is considered loaded if both the gun and a loaded clip or speed loader are in a vehicle together. The bill will change the definition so that the gun is not considered loaded unless the speed loader or clip is inserted into the firearm. Furthermore, the bill eliminates the demonstrated competency requirement for a carrying a concealed weapon (CCW) license renewal, instead only requiring applicants to provide proof of training to renew.
“This legislation streamlines the process so that taking a concealed carry license across state lines works in much the same way as a driver’s license,” Johnson said. “House Bill 495 eases the burden on gun owners traveling from state to state while keeping important safeguards on gun ownership in place.”
“As far as doing the classes, we’re staying pretty steady,” Page, a certified National Rifle Association instructor, said. “All they have to do is take a 12-hour class. At the end of that class, they will receive a certificate. They take that certificate down to the sheriff’s department, and pay the fee for the background check, and usually within a month they can have their license.”
Scioto County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Todd Miller said during years of 2010 and 2011, 1,324 CCW permits were issued in the county, averaging 59 per month over that period. In the first quarter of 2012, 160 new permits were issued, three people were rejected, five suspended, and one denied.
House Bill 495 passed by a vote of 57-26 and will now be sent to the Senate for further consideration.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at email@example.com